Skip to main content

Full text of "Narrative of the United States exploring expedition, during the years 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842"

See other formats


TTbe "dniperslty of Toronto Xtbrarp 

1bume Blake, Esq. 

from tbe boohs of 
TTbe late Ibonourable Eowarfc Blafte 

Cbancellor of tbe THnivcrsit\2 of (Toronto 







1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, AND 1842. 




Price Twenty-five Dollars to Subscribers, done up in beautiful 
Extra Cloth Binding. 

This great and truly national work is issued in a style of superior magnificence and 
beauty, containing 








No pains or expense have been spared to render these volumes worthy of the theme they 
illustrate, and to make them equal, if not superior, to anything of the kind ever produced 
in any country. The whole work may be regarded as a truly national one. Nothing has 
been used in its preparation that is not STRICTLY AMERICAN, and the design of the 
Author and Publishers has been to produce a book worthy of the country. 

A specimen of the Plates, Cuts, and general execution of the work can be seen, and the 
names of the persons wanting copies may be left with the Publishers, or any of the principal 
Booksellers throughout the Union. 

***The publishers have for sale for Sixty Dollars, in cloth, a few copies of the edition in large Quarto, printed 
for distribution by the order of Congress. Only one hundred and twenty-five of the two hundred and fifty printed 
have been offered to the public. 


THE reader will perceive that this edition of the " Narrative 
of the Exploring Expedition" contains precisely the same 
type, page and reading matter, as the one in Imperial Octavo ; 
the difference between them being in the quality and size of 
the paper ; the substitution of forty-seven wood-cuts for that 
number of steel vignettes in the other ; the omission of the 
sixty-four plates, and the use of eleven of the fourteen maps, 
four of which are on a reduced scale. 

The number of Wood Illustrations in this Edition is nearly 
Three Hundred. A volume will be published about every 
two weeks, until the whole work shall be completed. 

Phikdelphia, April, 1845. 



II \ 






1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842. 






'V ' 













1* (v) 


























291 338 









VOL. IV- 2 

c ji . CONTENTS. 




















THE king, Kamehameha III., who had given orders that he should 
be sent for as soon as the Vincennes arrived, reached Honolulu on the 
29th September, from Maui. The next day I waited upon him, ac- 
companied by our consul, Mr. Brinsmade, and by many of the officers 
and naturalists, at his quarters near the fort. A soldier dressed in a 
scarlet uniform stood on guard at the door. We were ushered into 
the audience-chamber, and presented to the king, whom we found 
seated in the midst of his retinue. The apartment was composed of 
two large rooms with low ceilings, communicating by folding doors. 
On the right of the king was Kekauluohi, a daughter of Kamehameha 
I., who acts as prime minister; and there were also present, among 
others, Kekuanaoa, the governor of Oahu, Mr. Richards, who is the 
king's interpreter and adviser, Haalilio, John Young, and the officers 
of the body-guard. 

The king was dressed in a blue coat, white pantaloons, and vest. 
We afterwards understood that he had prepared himself to receive us 
in full costume, but on seeing us approaching in undress uniform, he 

had taken off his robes of state. 



The appearance of the king is prepossessing : he is rather robust, 
above the middle height, has a good expression of countenance, and 
pleasing manners. 

The person who attracted our attention most, was Kekauluohi. 
This lady is upwards of six feet in height ; her frame is exceedingly 
large and well covered with fat. She was dressed in yellow silk, with 
enormously large gigot sleeves, and wore on her head a tiara of beau- 
tiful yellow feathers interspersed with a few of a scarlet colour.* 
Above the feathers appeared a large tortoise-shell comb, that confined 
her straight black hair. Her shoulders were covered with a richly- 
embroidered shawl of scarlet crape. She sat in a large arm-chair, 
over which was thrown a robe made of the same kind of yellow 
feathers as decked her tiara. Her feet were encased in white cotton 
stockings and men's shoes. She was altogether one of the most re- 
markable-looking personages I have ever seen. 

The governor was handsomely dressed in a uniform of blue and 

The conversation was carried on with ease through the interpreta- 
tion of Mr. Richards, and left upon our minds a favourable impression 
of the intelligence of the royal family of these islands. One thing 
was certain, namely, that, in regard to personal size, they are unsur- 
passed by any family that has ever come under rny notice. 

I next returned the visits I had received from the foreign residents, 
in which duty I was accompanied by our consul. I found many of 
them living in very comfortable stone houses, which were surrounded 
with young plantations of ornamental shrubs and trees. These plan- 
tations, with their gardens, are kept in a thriving state by means of 
irrigation. The water for this purpose is raised by windmills, that 
work pumps, from wells about ten feet in depth. It was represented 
to me that the w r ater in these wells rose and fell with the flow and ebb 
of the tide ; but after frequent trials of that in the rear of the house 
which I occupied, I could detect no variation greater than an inch or 
two. The wells are sunk through the bed of coral on which the town 
is built, and water is every where found beneath it. The water is not 
perfectly fresh, and many persons have that which they drink, brought 
from the valley of Nuuanu. 

* These feathers are among the most celebrated productions of these islands, and some 
idea of their cost may be formed when it is stated that each bird yields only a few, and 
that some thousands arc required to form a head-dress. The wreath worn by Kekauluohi, 
was valued at $250, and her robe at 82,500. The birds (Melitlircpl.cs pacifica) are taken 
by means of birdlime, made from the pisonia, and the catching of them is practised as a 
trade by the mountaineers. The wearing of these feathers is a symbol of high rank. 


I also had the pleasure of visiting the missionaries ; and as many 
misrepresentations have been published, and much misunderstanding 
exists, relative to their domiciles, I trust I may be excused if I give a 
short description of their interior, to set the matter at rest. It will I 
think be sufficient to satisfy any one that they are not as luxurious in 
their furniture as has been sometimes represented. Their houses are 
generally one story and a half high, situated fifteen or twenty paces 
within an unpretending gate, and the garden is surrounded by adobe 
walls about seven or eight feet high. Some of the houses are of stone, 
but most of them are of wood ; they are from twenty to thirty feet 
square, and twenty feet high, and have the appearance of having been 
added to as the prosperity of the mission increased. The front door 
opens into the principal room, which is covered with a mat or common 
ingrain carpeting, and furnished with a table, a few Windsor chairs, a 
rocking-chair, and sofa, all of wood. There is a very high mantel, 
but no fire-place, the latter not being needed. On the mantel are 
placed four glass lamps, each with one burner, and in the centre a 
small china vase, with a bunch of flowers in it. Several coloured 
scriptural prints hang on the walls about a foot below the ceiling ; on 
the table were a few devotional books. 

The eating-room adjoins the principal room, and in one corner 
stands a cupboard, or an old sideboard, very much the worse for wear. 
This contained the common earthenware used at meals. A native girl, 
or woman, is all the " help ;" and both the master and mistress take a 
part in many of the domestic duties. As to their fare, it is plain, 
simple, and wholesome, and always accompanied with a hearty wel- 
come and cheerful, contented faces, at least, I found it so. The 
salaries of all, both clerical and secular members, are the same, 
namely, four hundred dollars for a family. How it is possible for them 
to clothe and maintain a family on such a stipend at Honolulu, I am 
unable to conceive. They receive no other compensation, nor are they 
allowed to hold any property for themselves, not even a cow. All 
must belong to the mission, and be paid for by it. 

To several of the missionaries I feel indebted for unsolicited kind- 
nesses, and I spent many agreeable hours in their society. I must bear 
testimony that I saw nothing but a truly charitable and Christian 
bearing towards others throughout my intercourse with them, and 
heard none but the most charitable expressions towards their assailants. 
Heedless of the tongue of scandal, they pursued their duties with even- 
ness of temper, and highly laudable good-will. 

Near the missionaries' dwellings is their printing establishment 
under the superintendence of Mr. Rogers. Here they have three 



presses, which are generally in active employment. The workmen 
are all natives, and, from Mr. Rogers's account, they work very 
steadily, during the hours of labour, throughout the year. This 
occupation is considered as the road to preferment; for the know- 
ledge and habits of industry they acquire in it naturally raise them 
above their fellows, and they are soon required for the wants of the 
country, either in teaching schools or other employments under the 

I was told that upwards of four reams of paper are printed daily, 
affording an extensive circulation of books in the native language. 
Eleven thousand copies of the whole Bible have been printed, and two 
weekly papers are published, one in English, called the Polynesian, the 
other in the Hawaiian language, which the natives generally read. 
They have likewise a book-bindery, under the direction of the society. 
Many tracts are also published, some of which are by native authors. 
Of these I cannot pass at least one without naming him. This is 
David Maro, who is highly esteemed by all who know him, and who 
lends the missionaries his aid, in mind as well as example, in amelio- 
rating the condition of his countrymen, and checking licentiousness. 
At the same time he sets an example of industry, by farming with his 
own hands, and manufactures from his sugar-cane an excellent mo- 

Though not actually connected with the mission, the Seaman's 
Chape], and its pious and enlightened pastor, the Rev. Mr. Diell, assist 
in doing great good among the sailors who frequent the port. The 
chapel is a neat wooden building, and is chiefly frequented by the 
foreign residents and sailors in port. From its cupola, on the Sabbath, 
always waves the Bethel flag; and it is generally well attended. The 
Rev. Mr. Diell, to the regret of all, was about returning home. He 
was in the last stage of consumption, but hoped to reach his native 
land before his dissolution, which he felt and knew was rapidly ap- 
proaching. I regretted to hear that in this hope he was disappointed, 
having died on the homeward passage. He was truly a pattern of 
resignation, and was beloved by the whole community. He had done 
much, I have been told, to soften the asperities between the contending 
factions, and to arrest the course of vice, which, on his arrival, he 
found stalking abroad, regardless of moral laws, and setting at nought 
all those enacted by the government for the protection of the peace and 
quietness of the well-disposed, as well as for punishing those who were 
guilty of crime. 

As the natives, under the tuition of the missionaries, emerged from 
barbarism, instead of deriving encouragement from their intercourse 


with foreigners, difficulties were thrown in the way. The chief agents 
in the vexations to which the government has been exposed, are the 
designing individuals who hold the situation of consuls of the two great 
European powers ; and through their baleful influence the difficulties 
have been continually increasing, until, finally, these islands and their 
government have been forced upon the attention of the whole civilized 
world. All the laws and regulations established by the kings and 
chiefs for repressing immorality and vice, were not only derided, but 
often set at open defiance, because they clashed with the interests of 
some of the individuals settled here. If attempts were made to enforce 
them, official remonstrances were resorted to, accompanied by threats 
of punishment. As this, for a long time, did not follow, the matter 
came to be considered as a systematic course of bullying, which soon 
lost its effect, and remained unheeded. When these idle threats failed 
to effect their object, the new one of the arrival of a man-of-war was 
held out as a terror. In these disputes the missionaries seldom took a 
part, even in the way of advice, and left the chiefs to their own 
guidance. They did not feel themselves competent to give advice upon 
international questions, and, besides, considered them as of a temporal 
character ; for which reason they believed it their duty to abstain from 
any connexion with the disputes. They could not, however, avoid 
being as much surprised as the chiefs themselves were, at the continu- 
ally renewed difficulties which were made by these troublesome 
officials, and which there was nothing in the laws or regulations to 

As to the threat of the coming of a man-of-war, the natives rather 
looked to it as the sure termination of the vexations to which they were 
exposed.. They had formed their opinion of the character and probable 
course of action of the naval officers of either of the two great powers 
from the visit of Lord Byron in H. B. M. frigate Blonde. This vessel 
had been the bearer of the bodies of the late King Liho-liho and his wife 
from England, and her commander had made a most favourable 
impression upon the chiefs and people. They therefore expected that 
on the arrival of another man-of-war, all existing difficulties would be 
removed, and that their good intentions and strict adherence to justice 
would be made manifest. In this expectation they were disappointed ; 
the British naval commanders who came afterwards were not Byrons, 
and were, with one or two exceptions, the willing tools of the designing 
consul. Influenced by his erroneous representations, they demanded 
apologies and concessions, and endeavoured to dictate treaties. The 
regent and chiefs resisted these demands, and many disagreeable inter- 
views occurred. 


England was not the only nation whose ships of war were brought 
to aid in overawing the natives. A Frenchman, who claimed the title 
of consul, although not recognised as such by the king, persuaded the 
captain of a French frigate to insist upon his being acknowledged as 
a government agent. Thus, while this half-civilized community was 
struggling to make advances in morals and religion, French and 
English men-of-war, alternately, and occasionally in concert, did all in 
their power to break down the laws and regulations by which alone 
the union of the native barbarism with the worst vices of civilization 
could be prevented. 

In this state of things it became evident to the king and chiefs that 
they were in want of information in relation to international law, and 
they in consequence desired to obtain a competent person to give them 
advice on that subject. For this purpose they endeavoured to procure 
a suitable counsellor from the United States. Failing in this attempt, 
they requested the Rev. Mr. Richards, one of the missionaries, to 
undertake this duty. 

The missionaries, as a body, seem to have thought it a duty to 
abstain from meddling with any temporal matters, but Mr. Richards 
was prevailed upon to serve. As respects the internal policy of the 
islands, no better guide than this gentleman could possibly have been 
chosen. But like the other missionaries, he was but little versed and 
had no experience in the affairs of government. He was unused to 
the petty squabbling of the foreign officials, and his mind was far above 
the ignoble task of disputing with the revilers of all law and religion. 

I had the pleasure of becoming intimately acquainted with Mr. 
Richards, in his private capacity, and enjoyed an opportunity of judg- 
ing as to the manner in which he performed his public functions; and 
I cannot but felicitate the government and people of Hawaii upon their 
fortune in obtaining the services of one who has made such exertions 
in their behalf, and who is so well qualified for the responsible situation 
he holds. 

Mr. Richards had, as missionary, been for years a resident of these 
islands, and was thus in close connexion with the king and chiefs in 
their spiritual concerns. That they should have desired his counsel 
in their temporal affairs, is a strong proof of the affection and esteem 
with which they regarded him, and is alike creditable to his character 
and the soundness of their judgment. It was not, however, to be 
received as an evidence of any undue influence of the missionaries in 
political questions ; and from a close examination I am satisfied that no 
such influence exists. Mr. Richards, since his appointment has no 
voice in council, and is merely an adviser on such questions as the 


council may consider as demanding an acquaintance with the usages 
of civilized nations. 

The council, in which the government is in fact vested, is composed 
of thirteen persons ranking as chiefs of the highest order, four of whom 
are females. 

When any subject demands their consideration, the facts and reasons, 
pro and con, are fully laid before the council, in a comprehensive and 
simple manner, and the vote and decision of its members are had, 
without any further recourse to Mr. Richards. The subject is always 
acted upon with great deliberation, and frequently with much discri- 
mination and judgment ; for not only are the chiefs a strong-minded 
people, but the female members of the council are also remarkable 
in this respect, and all appear desirous of doing what is right and 

An anecdote of what occurred at one of their deliberations, will, I 
think, illustrate their simple mode of coming to a proper decision, and 
show that when they are made to understand that any act or regu- 
lation will prove unjust, they are quite desirous to revise their own 
intended vote. 

When they had under consideration the law relative to the descent 
of property, and previous to its final passage, each was, as usual, 
asked whether it should become a law. All had assented to its passage 
except one of the female members, who, when the interrogatory was 
put to her, laughed, but gave no answer. On being pressed, she said, 
"The law to which you have assented, has it not passed 1 ? My vote 
is not then needed." But, supposing from this, that she had reasons 
for withholding her vote, they pressed her to speak, when she asked, 
" Does not this proposed law give one-third of the property to the king, 
and two-thirds to the heirs of every one?" Yes. "Is this just? How 
differently does this affect one or two of the chiefs and myself! They 
have no children ; I have four. My heirs will suffer, theirs will not. 
This is not right." 

They saw the subject in a new light, and at once determined to 
adjourn, for the purpose of thinking the affair over. They finally 
came to the conclusion, that all the property of those who had children 
should go to the offspring, but that of the property of those who had no 
direct heirs, the king should be entitled to one-third. Thus stands the 
law at present. 

On the 2d October, I received a visit from Mr. Richards, who com- 
municated to me the desire of the king that I should visit him. In 
conformity with this request, I called upon him, accompanied by 
Captain Hudson. Although I had departed, after my first visit, 

VOL. iv. 2 


highly prepossescd in his favour, I was not prepared to find him so 
easy and gentlemanly in his manners as he now appeared. He was 
alone when he received us, and in a few minutes, we found that he was 
able to express himself very intelligibly in English, and was quick in 
comprehending what was said to him. 

He was found at one end of the large grass-house built for him by 
the Governor Kekuanaoa.* He received us in a friendly manner. 
From the representations that had been made to me, I had been led to 
believe that the king was not only dull of apprehension, but had little 
disposition to engage in or talk of the affairs of government ; I found 
him, on the contrary, exhibiting an intimate acquaintance with them. 
He entered fully and frankly in the discussion of all the matters in 
relation to which disputes had arisen between him and foreign nations; 
and I, on the other hand, was desirous to elicit his views with regard 
to the difficulties he had for the last year or two encountered, and 
learn the feelings he had experienced in the arduous situations in which 
he had been placed. 

He spoke of the manner in which foreigners had obtruded them- 
selves into the affairs of his government, so that no one of its acts was 
permitted to pass without his being called, in a rude and uncivil manner, 
to account for it. He stated that he found great difficulty in acting 
correctly; for foreigners, whom he and his chiefs had treated with 
every possible attention, had from interested motives, urged measures 
upon him which he knew to be wrong, and had, in many cases, 
abused the confidence he had placed in them. He expressed the 
strongest desire to do right, and to protect his people from evil influ- 
ences and the encroachments of designing persons, by wholesome laws 
and regulations. 

The treaty which he had been compelled to sign by Captain La- 
place, of the French frigate Artemise, was alluded to by him in terms 
of mortification : he regretted that he had done an act and yielded to 
a measure which had rendered nugatory his municipal laws and regu- 

To explain this part of the conversation, it will be necessary to 
relate some particulars of the circumstances which led to this inter- 
ference of a French commander with the laws and ordinances of a 
weak, and, as I think it will appear clearly, an unoffending people. 

There has always been a party among the foreign residents op- 

* This building is about sixty feet long by forty feet wide, and contains only one room, 
which may, however, be divided by movable screens into several apartments. The floor 
was covered with mats. The whole was well adapted to the heat of the climate, and the 
smell of the sweet-scented grass was agreeable and refreshing. 


posed to the improvements which are taking place in the morals and 
habits of the Hawaiian people under the influence of the missionaries. 
My position enabled me to hear the statements of both parties, and 
although the heat of the dispute had in some degree abated, mutual 
complaints were still made. By a comparison of the two statements, 
the truth does not appear difficult to be reached. 

The party opposed to the missionaries were anxious to counteract 
the influence they ascribe to them ; and for this purpose, when they 
saw the old heathen practices and vicious habits of the people rapidly 
vanishing, bethought themselves of the Roman Catholic priests, and 
seem to have desired to excite a sectarian war as one of the most 
effectual means of opposing the progress of the Protestant missionary 
cause. For this purpose they held out inducements to those priests to 
enter and establish themselves in the Hawaiian territory. This was in 
direct defiance of the law, which had made the Protestant the esta- 
blished and solely tolerated religion of the state. 

This principle, by which all forms of worship except one were 
excluded, seems to have been adopted by the king and chiefs, in the 
belief that two creeds would have tended to distract the minds of the 
people, and produce contention and confusion. What share the mis- 
sionaries had in bringing them to this conclusion, I found it impossible 
clearly to ascertain; but by information obtained from those best 
informed on the subject, I was satisfied that the accounts of the 
persecutions undergone by Catholic converts, and of the cruelties 
said to have been endured by them, were much exaggerated. Nor 
were these in any case to be imputed directly to the missionaries, 
who had in many instances endeavoured to prevent the infliction of 
punishment for religious reasons. Of cruel treatment for this cause, 
I could learn no authenticated instance, nor did I meet with any one 
who could adduce facts from his own knowledge, although I sought 
information from those inimical to the missionaries, as well as from 
those who favour them. That the missionaries and their proselytes 
entertain apprehensions of evil from the propagation of Romanism 
is true, but I found less illiberality on the subject of religious forms 
existing in the Hawaiian Islands than in any place I visited on the 
cruise; less than is entertained by opposing sects in our country; and 
far less than exists in Catholic countries against those who hold the 
Protestant faith. 

In spite of the prohibitory law, it is a notorious and indisputable 
fact, that the first Catholic priests, who landed in 1827, were kindly 
treated by all classes of natives, and by the Protestant missionaries. 
The American mission even furnished them with the books they had 


printed to enable them to learn the Hawaiian language. When, how- 
ever, mass was first publicly celebrated, the converted natives in gene- 
ral took an aversion to that mode of worship, as it appeared to them 
a step backwards towards their ancient idolatry; and the very cir- 
cumstance which, had they continued heathen, might have been an 
inducement to adopt, served now to alienate them from it. 

No serious disturbances in relation to religion occurred until 1830, 
when the Catholic missionaries were considered to have been engaged 
in promoting the attempted rebellion of Lilika. The Catholics, for 
this reason, were associated in the minds of the rulers with the oppo- 
nents of good order and the violators of the laws. The chiefs, in con- 
sequence, became jealous of their religion, and of their attempts to 
promulgate their doctrines. Whatever may have been the truth of the 
suspicion of the interference of the Catholic priests with the affairs of 
government, there can be no doubt that the proceedings which followed 
were dictated by reasons of state, not by sectarian religious feelings. 
It was determined to expel the priests from the island, and they were 
sent to California, at the expense of the government, in a vessel' fitted 
out for the purpose. 

No further attempt was made by the Catholics to propagate their 
doctrines in these islands until 1836, when the Rev. Mr. Walsh landed 
secretly. When his calling became known, he was ordered to depart; 
but, after various excuses for delay, finally obtained permission to 
remain, on condition that he would not attempt to propagate his 

In November of the same year, Captain Russell, of H. B. M. Ship 
Acteon, made a treaty with Kamehameha III. One of its articles 
provided for the protection of British subjects and property ; and under 
this treaty with a nation whose established religion is Protestant, it 
was resolved that an attempt should be made to introduce Catholic 
missionaries again, by making use of the British flag, and by claiming 
that at least one of them, an Irishman, came under the protection of its 

The brig Clementine arrived, under British colours, having a number 
of Catholic priests on board, who landed. Great excitement was at 
once produced in Oahu, and they were forthwith ordered to re-embark 
and depart in the same vessel. This they refused, but were compelled 
by threats to comply, no force, however, being used. Although under 
English colours, the vessel was owned by the French consul ; but he, 
when asked by the authorities of Oahu to interfere, denied that he had 
any control over the vessel, asserting that she had been chartered. 

The Catholic priests having been compelled to re-embark, the vessel 


was abandoned by the owners and those who had chartered her. Her 
colours were hauled down by the French, and burnt in the street by 
the British consul, and a large amount of damages was claimed from 
the government, on the plea that she had been forcibly seized. 

This transaction had hardly occurred, when the French frigate 
Venus, Captain Du Petit Thouars, and H. B. M. ship Sulphur, Captain 
Belcher, arrived. The two consuls did all in their power to make it 
appear that a gross violation of the rights of their respective citizens 
had been committed. The scenes which followed were disgraceful ; 
for instance, the English consul so far forgot himself as to shake his 
fist in the face of Kinau, a female, second in rank to the king ; and 
Captain Belcher did the same to the Rev. Mr. Bingham, the head of 
the American mission, whom he threatened to hang at the yardarm. 
The only offence of the reverend gentleman was his having acted as 
interpreter, and being supposed to exercise an influence over the 
government. Although this threat was no more than idle bravado, it 
produced much excitement. 

A treaty was made with the French, and new articles were added 
to the Russell treaty. Both commanders promised that the Catholic 
missionaries should depart at the earliest opportunity, and should not 
preach or attempt to propagate their religion. Under the French 
treaty, however, it was afterwards claimed that the missionaries had 
the right of teaching their tenets, although both the officers had thus 
formally acknowledged that no such right could exist against the con- 
sent and without the permission of the Hawaiian government. 

Some months after these transactions, the provisor of the Bishop of 
Nicopolis, with some assistants, arrived at Oahu, when permission to 
land was refused him, and the vessel was not permitted to enter the 
port, until the owner had given bond that the priests should not be 
landed. These priests, together with those already under a stipulation 
to embark as soon as they could procure a passage, purchased a 
schooner, in which they sailed for the island of Ascension, in the 
Caroline Group. 

The king and chiefs now thought it necessary, for the purpose of 
securing themselves against any future annoyance, to enact a law 
making it penal for any one to teach or propagate the Romish faith. 
Under this law some of the natives were fined and otherwise punished. 
Every possible endeavour was made to throw the odium of this law 
on the American mission, and it was asserted that its enactment had 
been procured through their influence over the king and chiefs. The 
falsehood of this charge became apparent when, eighteen months after- 


wards, the repeal of so much of the law as authorized the infliction of 
corporal punishment, was effected through the instrumentality of the 
missionaries, and religious toleration was proclaimed. If any blame 
is to be imputed to them, it is because they did not at an earlier period 
take steps to obtain the withdrawal of an ordinance so much at variance 
with the institutions of the country whence they came, where alone, 
of nations professing Christianity, toleration is an unknown term, 
because all sects stand upon an equal footing. It is possible that they 
had warm and excited feelings to contend with ; but if they had it in 
their power to obtain the repeal of the law, under which they must 
have heard that much severity was practised, at an earlier period, there 
can be no excuse for their delay. This supineness, whether apparent or 
real, has naturally excited censure, both in Hawaii and in the United 
States, and has served to give a shadow of probability to the numerous 
falsehoods and misstatements that have been published in relation to 
their conduct in other matters. Even the severity that was reported 
to have been practised while the law continued in force, was far less 
than is usually represented, and the reports in relation to it seem 
generally to have been much exaggerated. 

The arrival of Captain Laplace, in the French frigate Artemise, 
brought about a crisis, for which it appears that no party was 
prepared. It was generally supposed in Honolulu, that the mission 
of this officer was the consequence of representations made by a 
secret agent of the Romish missionaries, by the name of Murphy, 
who is suspected of having informed the French government that a 
persecution was still going on against French Catholics and citizens. 
How far this could be true will appear from the fact that the number 
of the subjects of France in these islands is four, including the consul, 
but excluding his family, who are English ; how valuable the com- 
merce which required a frigate to protect it, will be properly appre- 
ciated, when it is stated, that only three French vessels had visited 
the islands during the two years previous to the mission of Captain 
Laplace, and that the value of their cargoes was no more than 
820,000 or $30,000. Only one French vessel arrived in the year 
which followed the transactions I am about to refer to. 

That some gross misstatement had been made, is evident from the 
tenor of Captain Laplace's manifesto,* in which he states that he had 
been specially sent to put an end to the ill-treatment received by 
French subjects, and to secure them the free right of their worship. 

* This will be found in Appendix 1. 


He ascribes the fancied evils of which he complains to the evil course 
of the American missionaries, and charges the king with having been 
misled by " perfidious counsellors." 

How far this opinion was well founded, will appear by a letter ad- 
dressed on this subject to the king, by the American consul, and his 
reply. I deem it an act of justice to the American missionaries, that 
these official documents should be made public, as the most authentic 
testimony that can be procured on the subject, and which I am of 
opinion must command full belief.* 

So far as can be learned from Captain Laplace's manifesto, his in- 
structions had reference only to the subject of religious toleration ; he 
was to insure the future good treatment of French Catholics, and of 
the natives converted by them. He demanded, in addition, as surety 
for the future good conduct of the king and chiefs, the sum of $20,000, 
for which it has been alleged he has not accounted ; and the French 
consul contrived to turn the intervention of Captain Laplace to his 
own personal advantage, as will presently be seen. 

The promulgation of this manifesto, and the exorbitant demand 
with which it was accompanied, produced great consternation at Ho- 
nolulu, and throughout the island of Oahu. The foreign residents 
were in alarm for their property, which was exposed on the one side 
to the dangers of a bombardment, and on the other to the pilfering 
of the natives ; the natives were dismayed at the demand of a sum 
they were unable to pay ; while the missionaries, with their wives 
and children, were the objects of a proscription, from which, the 
American consul was informed, their national flag should not be a 
protection, nor guard them from insult and injury. 

Until the demands of the French captain should be complied with, 
the port of Honolulu was declared by him in a state of blockade, and 
no advices were allowed to be sent from it except with his knowledge. 

The conduct of the foreign residents, at this juncture, was most 
extraordinary. So far from aiding, by their advice and countenance, 
the government under whose protection they had been living and 
making fortunes, they organized a committee to look to their own 
safety in the threatened crisis, formed a company of minute-men, not 
to act against the invaders, but against the natives ; and actually 
applied to Captain Laplace for the loan of arms and ammunition, to be 
employed against those to whom they were in so many ways indebted. 
They thus took part against the native government, which they de- 
serted in its utmost need ; and it is with regret that I am compelled 

* This correspondence will be found in Appendix II. 


to state that the Americans as a body did not form an exception, but 
that some of them left the native rulers to struggle as they best could 
with a powerful enemy. 

The missionaries who were proscribed, declined to involve the king 
and chiefs in further difficulties by giving advice, which, coming 
from them, would have been obnoxious to the French commander, 
but silently awaited the suffering which they seemed called upon to 

The regent, Kekauluohi, and the governor, Kekuanaoa, succeeded 
after some negotiation in obtaining a delay of the threatened hostili- 
ties, until the king, who had been sent for, should arrive from Maui, 
or until a sufficient time should be allowed for his so doing ; and 
Haalilio was sent on board the frigate as a hostage, for the execution 
of the treaty they were required to sign. The time which was thus 
allowed to intervene, was spent on the side of the foreigners in creating 
alarm, and holding up in dismal colours the prospect of the bloodshed 
and rapine that were to fall on the devoted community, in case the 
demands of the French captain were not complied with ; and on the 
part of the chie'fs in forming an efficient police to suppress any intes- 
tine commotion. Their conduct ought to have put to the blush those 
whose property they thus prepared to guard, and I can conceive no- 
thing more disgraceful than the conduct of the foreigners on this 
occasion. Even the American consul fell in the first instance into an 
error, in not asserting the right of his flag to protect all Americans, 
and in not throwing back upon the French commander the unmanly 
threat he had uttered against the missionaries and their families. He, 
however, fully retrieved his error before the affair ended. 

It would appear that the sum demanded by Captain Laplace had 
been made so large by the advice of the French consul, who knew that 
the resources of the native government would not enable them to raise 
it, and who hoped that, in lieu of it, any commercial arrangements he 
might choose to dictate would be granted, or that a good pretext would 
exist for the occupation of the island by the French, either of which 
might be turned to his (the consul's) pecuniary advantage. The same 
reasons operated in a different manner upon the other foreign residents ; 
for after their first alarm had somewhat subsided, they became aware 
of the injury to which the latter alternative would have subjected them, 
while from actual hostilities they would be the greatest sufferers ; and 
thus, to the great disappointment of the French consul, they determined 
to lend the demanded sum to the government. The king did not arrive 
at the specified time ; but the regent and governor, being thus furnished 
with funds, at a high rate of interest, signed the treaty. 


Although the hopes of the French consul to see the island taken 
possession of by his countrymen were frustrated, he took advantage 
of the state of affairs to secure a personal advantage to himself, by 
procuring a commercial treaty which should abrogate, in favour of the 
French, the laws against the importation of spirituous liquors. Captain 
Laplace lent himself to this design, and a commercial treaty was drawn 
up, which, under the avowed intention of protecting French commerce, 
provided for the free admission of brandy and wine, in which the consul 
had hitherto been an illicit trader. This treaty was presented to the 
king, who had by this time arrived, late in the afternoon, and he was 
required to put his signature to it by the next morning, failing which, it 
was intimated that hostile measures would be again resorted to. It is 
not surprising that the king, on this occasion, found himself, as he 
expressed it to me, completely at a loss what to do, when he found a 
second treaty presented to him for his signature, which broke down 
his laws and the municipal regulations of the island. These difficulties 
were enhanced by finding that he was left entirely to himself, and with- 
out the aid of any friendly advice ; for no time was allowed him, even 
to call in the counsel of his own chiefs. The foreignef s, both residents 
and missionaries, kept aloof from him, although now was a juncture at 
which the true friends of this people might have acted to advantage by 
stepping forward in support of the laws under which they lived. They 
cannot be too much blamed for having suffered this flagrant outrage 
upon the rights of a feeble nation to be committed with their knowledge, 
and without strong and decided remonstrances on their part. The 
missionaries, in particular, lost a glorious opportunity. It would have 
shown their character in a beautiful light, if, after abstaining as they 
did from any act that might have increased the embarrassment of the 
government, when they were themselves threatened, they had come 
forward to oppose, by every means in their power, the overthrow of 
the laws enacted to check the scourge of intemperance, against which 
they had so long contended. 

The merchants, also, had not the spirit to raise a voice in condem- 
nation of an act fraught with so much evil to the people from whom 
they were gaining their livelihood. Although all were aware of what 
was going forward, and some of them were appealed to, none would 
take the responsibility of advising the king to withhold his signature 
from a treaty that was to degrade him in his own eyes, and which 
subverted the laws that had hitherto been so beneficial. 

I make these comments on the conduct of the foreign residents and 
missionaries, because I am satisfied that the smallest opposition would 
now have checked the career of Captain Laplace ; and it would have 

VOL. IV. B2 3 


required but little argument to prove to him the selfish views of the 
French consul. Whatever he might have done had his first requisitions 
not been complied with, I cannot believe, that to secure a commercial 
treaty (which does not appear to have been part of his instructions), 
however advantageous, he would have ventured to commence hosti- 
lities, or that, if opposed on this point, he would have proceeded to 
trample on the rights of the monarch of a weak and unoffending nation. 

It was now that Captain Laplace insisted upon the recognition, in 
the capacity of consul, of the irresponsible individual of whom we 
have spoken under that style, but who had not hitherto been received 
by the government. 

The affair terminated by the landing of Captain Laplace, with two 
hundred of his men, fully armed and equipped for battle, for the pur- 
pose of celebrating mass in one of the straw-built houses of the king. 

The frigate sailed the day after this ceremony ; and thus, in the 
space of ten days, Captain Laplace had, by the terror of his cannon, 
forced a dreaded religion upon a reluctant people, heaped ignominy on 
the sovereign and chiefs, trodden down the laws, and left the islands 
open to the introduction of immorality and vice, besides carrying off 
in his frigate the whole of the circulating medium. This was truly an 
heroic exploit, and one that must redound greatly to the credit of all 
who were concerned in it ! 

The immediate consequences of the treaty, were it not for their 
serious results, would be ludicrous. The brig Clementine, which has 
before been mentioned, was immediately despatched by the French 
consul to the coast of South America, whence she returned without de- 
lay, having on board the Bishop of Nicopolis with several priests, and 
a full cargo of French wines and brandy. It is needless to describe 
the effect which the introduction of quantities of intoxicating liquor pro- 
duced upon the population of the islands, the inferior classes of which 
have still the propensity manifested by all savages for this worst pro- 
duct of the arts of civilized nations. The chiefs have indeed endea- 
voured to put some impediment in the way of the progress of the 
scourge, by making it necessary to obtain a license for the retail of 
spirituous liquors. 

After this account, it will be easy to understand the feelings of mor- 
tification and regret with which the king spoke of the Laplace treaty. 
He said, that he was not surprised that France should have sent a 
force to inquire whether his people had injured the natives of that 
country who had visited them, but he did wonder that so great a 
nation as France was represented to him to be, should have wished to 
destroy his laws, and make his people drunkards for the sake of selling 


a small quantity of brandy ; that, were not his honour concerned, he 
would willingly sacrifice the twenty thousand dollars which Captain 
Laplace held as security for the faithful performance of the treaty, if 
by so doing he could prevent the demoralization of his people ; that 
the commercial treaty had been forced upon him by Captain Laplace 
and the French consul, who threatened to renew the war and destroy 
Honolulu ; that they refused him time to consult with his chiefs or any 
other person, and insisted on receiving his signature the next morning. 
Having no one with whom to advise, his own impulse was to do any 
thing that might serve to preserve peace and prevent injury to his 
people and the foreigners under his protection. 

He said further, that this was not the only instance in which his con- 
sent had been extorted by threats, to measures of which he disapproved, 
and that there had been instances when he had been called upon to 
perform alleged promises which he had never given, for there were 
some of the foreigners who misrepresented every thing that took place 
in their interviews with him. 

I at once pointed out a simple remedy for this, namely, that he 
should hereafter transact all business in writing, and have no verbal 
communication with people of this stamp or indeed with any one ; 
telling him that by keeping their letters, and copies of his own, he 
would always be in possession of evidence of what had passed. I 
assured him that I considered his government to have made sufficient 
progress towards a position among civilized nations to authorize him 
to require that official business should be carried on in this manner, 
and expressed my belief, that should he adopt this method, the 
" bullies" of whom he had spoken would give him no further trouble. 

I now found that his principal object in requesting an interview with 
me was, that he might renew and amplify his treaty with the United 
States, for which purpose he thought it probable that I might have had 
instructions. When he found that this was not the case, and that I had 
no official communication for him, he was evidently disappointed ; for 
he appeared most desirous to enter into a close friendship with the 
United States, and spoke in the highest terms of the kind manner in 
which he had ever been treated by our consul Mr. Brinsmade and the 
commanders of the United States vessels of war that had visited his 
islands. In conclusion, he intimated his hopes that the United States 
would acknowledge his people as a nation, and enter into a new treaty 
with him as its ruler. 

All this was well and intelligently expressed by him, but the main 
subject of the conversation, which lasted for three hours, was his re- 
gret that he had ever permitted foreigners to interfere with his laws 


and municipal regulations, and had not rather allowed them to do their 
worst. The only justification he could offer to himself for his submis- 
sion was, that by yielding he had saved much trouble and distress to 

To return to the Laplace treaty. A commission has been sent to 
France with letters to its government, containing a statement of the 
transactions of which we have spoken, and asking that the commer- 
cial treaty might be annulled as injurious to the morals of his people, 
and the king expressed his hopes that this appeal to the magnanimity 
and moral sense of the French monarch would be successful. 

With the Catholics, to whom this treaty has given free entrance, I 
had no direct intercourse. I saw however that they were zealous in 
their exertions to inculcate their peculiar tenets ; they have already 
several places of worship, and were busy in erecting a large chapel 
of stone. All the chiefs, however, and the great body of the people, are 
still Protestants. The existence of two different creeds has caused 
some difficulties. One relating to the school system took place during 
the stay of our squadron ; and another relative to marriages between 
native converts of different persuasions. 

I cannot but indulge the hope, that the competition of the teachers 
of different creeds, if they be actuated by proper motives, will, by 
stimulating their efforts, tend to the improvement of education and 
the advancement of civilization. The Protestant missionaries have 
already done so much good, that it is much more a matter of wonder 
that there should be so many signs of piety, and so many instances of 
strict obedience to the moral law, than that vice and sensuality are still 
to be seen in existence in this community, so recently redeemed from 

Among the most obvious benefits of the missionary labours, are a 
code of laws and a written constitution ; the last of which was pro 
mulgated on the 8th October, 1840. It is, no doubt, far from being 
perfect, but it is as much so as circumstances would permit, and is a 
proof of the sincerity of the interest the king and chiefs take in the 
welfare of those whom they govern ; for in it they have made a willing 
sacrifice of their power to what they deem the general benefit of the 

I was furnished with a copy of this constitution by Mr. Richards, 
and I insert it, as perhaps the best mode of contrasting the present 
state of the Hawaiian people with that of the inhabitants of the other 
Polynesian islands, and of exhibiting the advance which they have 
made towards complete civilization. 




" God hath made of one blood all nations of men, to dwell on the 
earth" in unity and blessedness. God has also bestowed certain rights 
alike on all men, and all chiefs, and all people of all lands. 

These are some of the rights which he has given alike to every man 
and every chief of correct deportment : life, limb, liberty, freedom from 
oppression, the earnings of his hands and the productions of his mind ; 
not, however, to those who act in violation of the laws. 

God has also established governments, and rule, for the purpose of 
peace ; but, in making laws for the nation, it is by no means proper to 
enact laws for the protection of the rulers only, without also providing 
protection for their subjects ; neither is it proper to enact laws to enrich 
the chiefs only, without regard to enriching their subjects also ; and 
hereafter there shall, by no means, be any laws enacted which are at 
variance with what is above expressed, neither shall any tax be assessed, 
nor any service or labour required of any man, in a manner which is 
at all at variance with the above sentiments. 


The above sentiments are hereby published for the purpose of pro- 
tecting alike both the people and the chiefs of all these islands, while 
they maintain a correct deportment ; that no chief may be able to 
oppress any subject, but that chiefs and people may enjoy the same 
protection, under one and the same law. 

Protection is hereby secured to the persons of all the people, 
together with their lands, their building-lots, and all their property, 
while they conform to the laws of the kingdom ; and nothing what- 
ever shall be taken from any individual except by express provision 
of the laws. Whatever chief shall act perseveringly in violation of 
the constitution, shall no longer remain a chief of the Hawaiian 
Islands, and the same shall be true of the governors, officers, and all 
land agents. 

But if any one who is deposed should change his course and regu- 
late his conduct by law, it shall then be in the power of the chiefs to 
reinstate him in the place he occupied previous to his being deposed. 



It is our design to regulate our kingdom according to the above 
principles, and thus seek the greatest prosperity both of all the chiefs 
and all the people of these Hawaiian Islands. But we are aware that 
we cannot ourselves alone accomplish such an object. God must be 
our aid, for it is his province alone to give perfect protection and pro- 
perty. Wherefore we first present our supplication to him that he will 
guide us to right measures and sustain us in our work. 

It is, therefore, our fixed decree : 

1. That no law shall be enacted which is at variance with the word 
of the Lord Jehovah, or at variance with the general spirit of his word. 
All laws of the island shall be in consistency with the general spirit of 
God's law. 

2. All men in every religion shall be protected in worshipping 
Jehovah, and serving him according to their own understanding, but 
no man shall ever be punished for neglect of God, unless he injures his 
neighbour, or bring evil on the kingdom. 

3. The law shall give redress to every man who is injured by 
another, without a fault of his own, and shall protect all men while 
they conduct properly, and shall punish all men who commit crime 
against the kingdom or against individuals; and no unequal law shall 
be passed for the benefit of one to the injury of another. 

4. No man shall be punished, unless his crime be first made mani- 
fest, neither shall he be punished unless he be first brought to trial in 
the presence of his accusers, and they have met face to face, and the 
trial having been conducted according to law, and the crime made 
manifest in their presence, then punishment may be inflicted. 

5. No man or chief shall be permitted to sit as judge or act on a 
jury to try his particular friend or enemy, or one who is especially 
connected with him. Wherefore, if any man be condemned or ac- 
quitted, and it shall afterwards be made to appear that some one who 
tried him acted with partiality, for the purpose of favouring his friend 
or injuring his enemy, or for the purpose of enriching himself, then 
there shall be a new trial allowed before those who are impartial. 


The origin of the present government and system of polity is as 
follows: Kamehameha I. was the founder of the kingdom, and to him 
belonged all the land from one end of the islands to the other, though 
it was not his own private property. It belonged to the chiefs and 


people in common, of whom Kamehameha I. was the head, and had 
the management of the landed property. Wherefore there was not 
formerly and is not now any person who could or can convey away 
the smallest portion of land without the consent of the one who had or 
has the direction of the kingdom. 

These are the persons who have had the direction of it from that 
time down : Kamehameha II., Kaahumanu I., and at the present time 
Kamehameha III. These persons have had the direction of the king- 
dom dow r n to the present time, and all documents written by them, and 
no others, are the documents of the kingdom. 

The kingdom is permanently confirmed to Kamehameha III. and 
his heirs, and his heir shall be the person whom he and the chiefs 
shall appoint during his lifetime ; but should there be no appointment, 
then the decision shall rest with the chiefs and House of Represent- 


The prerogatives of the king are as follows. He is the sovereign of 
all the people and all the chiefs. The kingdom is his. He shall 
have the direction of the army and all the implements of war of the 
kingdom. He also shall have the direction of the government property, 
the poll-tax, the land-tax, the three days' monthly labour ; thongh in 
conformity to the laws. He also shall retain his own private lands, 
and lands forfeited for the non-payment of taxes shall revert to him. 
He shall be the chief judge of the supreme court, and it shall be his 
duty to execute the laws of the land, also all decrees and treaties with 
other countries ; all, however, in accordance with the laws. 

It shall also be his prerogative to form treaties with the rulers of all 
other kingdoms, also to receive all ministers sent by other countries, 
and he shall have power to confirm agreements with them. 

He shall also have power to make war in time of emergency when 
the chiefs cannot be assembled, and he shall be the co-mmander-in- 
chief. He shall also have power to transact all important business of 
the kingdom, which is not by law assigned to others. 


It shall be the duty of the king to appoint some chief of rank and 
ability to be his particular minister, whose title shall be Premier of 
the Kingdom. His office and business shall be the same as that of 
Kaahumanu I. and Kaahumanu II. For even in the time of Kame- 


hameha I., life and death, condemnation and acquittal, were in the 
hands of Kaahumanu. When Kamehameha I. died, his will was, 
" The kingdom is Liho-liho's, and Kaahumanu is his minister." 

That important feature of the government, originated by Kameha- 
meha I., shall be perpetuated in these Hawaiian Islands, but shall 
always be in subserviency to the law. 

The following are the duties of the premier: 

All business connected with the special interests of the kingdom, 
which the king wishes to transact, shall be done by the premier under 
the authority of the king. All documents and business of the kingdom, 
executed by the premier, shall be considered as executed by the king's 
authority. All government property shall be reported to him (or her), 
and he (or she) shall make it over to the king. 

The premier shall be the king's special counsellor in the great busi- 
ness of the kingdom. 

The king shall not act without the knowledge of the premier, nor 
shall the premier act without the knowledge of the king, and the veto 
of the king on the acts of the premier shall arrest the business. All 
important business of the kingdom which the king chooses to transact 
in person, he may do it, but not without the approbation of the 


There shall be four governors over these Hawaiian Islands one 
for Hawaii, one for Maui and the islands adjacent, one for Oahu, and 
one for Kauai and the adjacent islands. All the governors, from 
Hawaii to Kauai, shall be subject to the king. 

The prerogatives of the governors and their duties, shall be as fol- 
lows. Each governor shall have the general direction of the several 
tax-gatherers of his island, and shall support them in the execution of 
all their orders which he considers to have been properly given, but 
shall pursue a course according to law, and not according to his own 
private views. He also shall preside over all the judges of his island, 
and shall see their sentences executed as above. He shall also appoint 
the judges and give them their certificates of office. 

All the governors, from Hawaii to Kauai, shall be subject not only 
to the king but also to the premier. 

The governor shall be superior over his particular island or islands, 
He shall have charge of the munitions of war, under the direction of 
the king however, and the premier. He shall have charge of the forts, 
the soldiery, the arms, and all the implements of war. He shall receive 


the government dues, and shall deliver over the same to the premier. 
All important decisions rest with him in times of emergency, unless 
the king or premier be present. He shall have charge of all the king's 
business on the island, the taxation, new improvements to be extended, 
and plans for the increase of wealth ; and all officers shall be subject 
to him. He shall also have power to decide all questions, and transact 
all island business which is not by law assigned to others. 

When either of the governors shall decease, then all the chiefs shall 
assemble at such place as the king shall appoint, and shall nominate a 
successor of the deceased governor ; and whosoever they shall nomi- 
nate and be approved by the king, he shall be the new governor. 


At the present period, these are the persons who shall sit in the 
government councils: Kamehameha III., Kekauluohi, Hoapiliwahine, 
Kuakini, Kekauonohi, Kahekili, Paki, Konai, Koahokalola, Leleiohoku, 
Kekuanaoa, Kealiiahonui, Kanaina, Keoni li, Keoni Ana, and Haalilio. 
Should any person be received into the council, it shall be made known 
by law. These persons shall have part in the councils of the kingdom. 
No law of the nation shall be passed without their assent. They shall 
act in the following manner: they shall assemble annually, for the 
purpose of seeking the welfare of the nation, and establishing the laws 
of the kingdom. Their meetings shall commence in April, at such 
day and place as the king shall appoint. 

It shall be proper for the king to consult with the above persons 
respecting all the great concerns of the kingdom, in order to promote 
unanimity and secure the greatest good. They shall moreover trans- 
act such other business as the king shall commit to them. 

They shall still retain their own appropriate lands, whether districts 
or plantations, in whatever divisions they may be, and they may con- 
duct the business on said lands at their discretion, but not at variance 
with the laws of the kingdom. 


There shall be annually chosen certain persons to sit in council with 
the chiefs and establish laws for the nation. They shall be chosen by 
the people, according to their wish, from Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and 
Kauai. The law shall decide the form of choosing them, and also the 
number to be chosen. This representative body shall have a voice in 

VOL. iv. c 4 


the business of the kingdom. No law shall be passed without the ap- 
probation of a majority of them. 


There shall be an annual meeting as stated above ; but if the chiefs 
think it desirable to meet again, they may do it at their discretion. 
When they assemble, the nobles shall meet by themselves, and the 
representative body by themselves, though at such times as they shall 
think it necessary to consult together, they may unite at their discre- 

The form of doing business shall be as follows : the nobles shall ap- 
point a secretary for themselves, who at the meetings shall record all 
decisions made by them ; and that book of records shall be preserved, 
in order that no decrees affecting the interests of the kingdom shall be 

The same shall be done by the representative body. They too shall 
choose a secretary for themselves ; and when they meet for the pur- 
pose of seeking the interests of the kingdom, and shall come to a deci- 
sion on any point, then that decision shall be recorded in a book, and 
the book shall be preserved, in order that nothing valuable affecting 
the interests of the kingdom, shall be lost ; and there shall be no new 
law made without the approbation of a majority of the chiefs, and also 
a majority of the representative body. 

When any act has been agreed upon by them, it shall then be pre- 
sented to the king, and if he approve and sign his name, and also the 
premier, then it shall become a law of the kingdom ; and that law 
shall not be repealed until it is done by the voice of those who esta- 
blished it. 


The king and premier shall appoint tax officers and give them their 
certificates of office. There shall be district tax officers for each of the 
islands, at the discretion of the king and premier. 

When a tax officer has received his certificate of appointment, he 
shall not be dismissed from office without first having a formal trial, 
and having been convicted of fault, at which time he shall be dis- 
missed. Though if the law should prescribe a given number of yenrs 
as the term of office it may be done. 

The following are the established duties of the tax officers. Thej 



shall assess the taxes, and give notice of the amount to all the people, 
that they may understand in suitable time. The tax officers shall make 
the assessments in subserviency to the orders of the governors, and in 
accordance with the requirements of the law. And when the taxes are 
to be gathered, they shall gather them, and deliver the property to the 
governor, and the governor shall pay it over to the premier, and the 
premier shall deliver it to the king. 

The tax officers shall also have charge of the public labour done 
for the king^, though if they see proper to commit it to the land 
agents, it is well; but the tax officers being above the land agents, 
shall be accountable for the work. They shall also have charge of 
all new business which the king shall wish to extend through the 
kingdom. In all business, however, they shall be subject to the go- 

The tax officers shall be the judges in all cases arising under the 
tax law. In all cases where land agents or landlords are charged 
with oppressing the lower classes, and also in all cases of difficulty 
between land agents and tenants, the tax officers shall be the judges, 
and also all cases arising under the tax law enacted on the 7th of 
June, 1839. 

They shall, moreover, perform their duties in the following manner. 
Each tax officer shall be confined in his authority to his own appro- 
priate district. If a difficulty arises between a land agent and his 
tenant, the tax officer shall try the case, and if the tenant be found 
guilty, then the tax officer, in connexion with the land agent, shall exe- 
cute the law upon him. But if the tax officer judge the land agent to 
be in fault, then he shall notify all the tax officers of his particular 
island, and if they are agreed, they shall pass sentence on him, 
and the governor shall execute it. But in all trials, if any individual 
take exception to the decision of the tax officer, .he may appeal to 
the governor, who shall have the power to try the case again, and if 
exceptions are taken to the decision of the governor, on information 
given to the supreme judges, there shall be a new and final trial before 


Each of the governors shall, at his discretion, appoint judges for his 
particular island, two or more, as he shall think expedient, and shall 
give them certificates of office. After having received their certificates, 
they shall not be turned out except by impeachment, though it shall be 
proper at any time for the law to limit the term of office. 

They shall act in the following manner. They shall give notice 


beforehand of the days on which courts are to be held. When the 
time specified arrives, they shall be the judges in cases arising under 
the laws, excepting those which regard taxation, or difficulties between 
land agents, or landlords and their tenants. They shall be sustained by 
the governor, whose duty it shall be to execute the law according to 
their decisions. But if exceptions are taken to their judgment, who- 
soever takes them, may appeal to the supreme judges. 



The representative body shall appoint four persons whose duty it 
shall be to aid the king and premier, and six persons shall constitute 
the supreme court of the kingdom. 

Their business shall be to settle all cases of difficulty which are left 
unsettled by the tax officers and common judges. They shall give a 
new trial according to the conditions of the law. They shall give 
previous notice of the time for holding courts, in order that those who 
are in difficulty may appeal. The decision of these shall be final. 
There shall be no further trial afterwards. Life, death, confinement, 
fine, and freedom from it, are all in their hands, and their decisions are 


This constitution shall not be considered as finally established until 
the people have generally heard it, and have appointed persons accord- 
ing to the provisions herein made, and they have given their assent ; 
then this constitution shall be considered as permanently established. 

But hereafter, if it should be thought desirable to change it, notice 
shall be previously given, that all the people may understand the nature 
of the proposed change, and at the succeeding meeting of the chiefs 
and the representative body, if they shall agree as to the addition pro- 
posed, or as to the alteration, then they may make it. 

The above constitution has been agreed to by the chiefs, and we 
have hereunto subscribed our names, this eighth day of October, in the 
year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty, at Honolulu, Oahu. 


The code of laws is now administered with firmness and a prompti- 
tude that gives them great effect, and of this we had an instance while 
we remained at Honolulu. 

A night or two after our arrival, I was awakened by one of the 
most startling and mournful sounds I ever heard, which lasted all 


night, and disturbed the whole town of Honolulu. It brought back to 
my mind the idea that I was still among savages, which the impressions 
I had received within the last few days had in a measure dissipated. 
This sound proved to be the wailing over Kamakinki, the wife of a 
chief of high rank. Strong suspicions being entertained of her having 
been poisoned by drinking ava, which her husband, Kamanawa, had 
prepared for her, he was apprehended, together with an accomplice, 
whose name was Sono. Three days after their arrest, they were put 
under trial before Kekuanaoa, the governor, as presiding judge, and a 
jury of twelve Hawaiians. On being brought to the stand they were 
examined against themselves, and confessed on interrogation ; for the 
Hawaiian law permits this, and such confessions are esteemed as good 
testimony. They were found guilty by the jury, and Sono confessed 
on the trial that he had committed one other murder. 

The facts in relation to the murder of the chief's wife were as 

The husband and wife had been for some time separated, because 
the chief wished to marry another woman, for whom he had formed a 
strong attachment. Having already one wife, this was forbidden by 
the law, and he in consequence determined to rid himself of her. For 
this purpose he applied to Sono, who was said to be well acquainted 
with poisons. He found Sono in the same position as himself, and they 
both agreed to destroy their wives. Accordingly, a seeming recon- 
ciliation was brought about, and they met at the house of a son-in-law 
of Kamakinki to celebrate it by drinking ava. Two bowls of the liquor 
were prepared, the one unadulterated, the other mixed with poison 
composed of Tephrosia piscatoria, Daphne indica, and the leaves of a 
common gourd (Lagenaria). From the first of these the company 
drank, but when Kamakinki called for her share, which was handed 
to her by Kamanawa her husband, she, after taking a few mouthfuls, 
complained of its bitterness. On asking if the other cups had tasted 
so, and being answered in the negative, she at once accused her 
husband of having poisoned her. 

The proof would have been ample without the confession of the 
guilty parties, for a post-mortem examination had taken place, which 
proved conclusively that the death had been the result of poison. 
The parties, however, both made a full and corresponding confession. 
It was stated by Kamanawa, the husband, that Sono, on receiving his 
application, at once said that he had a drug that would destroy life. 
On his expressing some doubts, Sono told him that he had already 
proved it in three cases. When Kamanawa drugged the ava, he had 
doubts whether it would prove effective, but was glad to find it so. 



The prisoners were allowed counsel, and the whole proceedings 
were conducted in a becoming manner. The charge of the judge to 
the jury was clear and forcible. The king and several high chiefs 
were present, and as Kamanawa was a great favourite of the king, 
it was supposed by many that a pardon would be extended to him, 
this being the first case in which the sentence of the law had been 
passed on one of so high a rank. But there was no pardon, and tha 
criminals were hung on the 20th of October, on the walls of the fort, 
the king having gone some days previously to Lahaina. The con- 
course of people at the execution was very large, and the prisoners 
were attended by the missionaries. There was none of that eager 
curiosity, rushing, and crowding, that is to be observed at home on an 
occasion of the kind, and no noise or confusion. All present were 
decently dressed and well behaved, but they did not seem impressed 
with the solemnity of the scene. It was estimated that ten thousand 
persons, from all parts of the island, were present. I was in hopes 
that the law would have been put into execution within the fort, and 
not on the walls, thus making it a private instead of a public execu- 
tion. I had much conversation relative to this subject with the autho- 
rities, but I thought the disposition was to make it a matter of parade 
rather than otherwise. The criminals showed no manner of contrition 
for their foul crimes, but evinced a hardihood in unison with the deed 
for which they suffered the penalty of the law. 

There are no persons to whom the old adage of " murder will out" 
will more justly apply, than to these natives ; they cannot keep a 
secret, and when once a crime is perpetrated, it is not long before it 
becomes known to the public ; they will even tell against themselves, 
however certain the punishment may be. In this respect, nearly all 
the Polynesian nations are alike. It was perhaps not to be expected 
that much feeling should be shown on an occasion of the kind among 
a half-civilized nation, who had formerly been in the habit of seeing 
death frequently administered by the hands of the assassin, acting by 
the order of the chiefs ; yet I was not prepared to see so quiet and 
indifferent a demeanour. The son of Kamanawa, who is an extremely 
fat youth, and one of the best swimmers and divers in the port, spoke 
of the execution of his father without any apparent feeling. 

The immense advance which has been made by the Hawaiians in 
civilisation, will be best appreciated by the contrast which the fore- 
going constitution exhibits to the ancient usages and mode of govern- 
ment of this group. As, however, many points in the early history of 
these islands have been fully illustrated by other writers, I shall con- 
tent myself with a general view of such facts as may serve for the basis 


of a comparison between the past and present condition of the Hawaii- 
ans, and between their usages and customs and those of the other 
groups of Polynesia. On these points I have endeavoured to obtain 
the most correct information, and have been fortunate in receiving it 
from the highest and most authentic sources. 

In former times there were no fixed laws of succession to the throne, 
and the practice in relation to it varied. It was, however, the general 
usage that the crown should descend, on the death of a sovereign, to 
one of his children, sons being preferred to daughters, and the rank of 
the mother being taken into consideration, as well as priority of birth. 
Thus Kamehameha I. had children by several wives, but his eldest 
son, as well as a daughter, were superseded by the children of another 
wife of more elevated birth. Even if a sovereign had sons by females 
of low origin, a daughter might succeed, if her mother were of very 
elevated rank. 

A case of this sort had occurred two generations prior to the disco- 
very of the island, when the throne was held by Queen Keokeolaui, 
who had several half-brothers, but they were of lower rank on the 
mother's side. There have been only two instances of the accession 
of females to the supreme power, Keokeolaui, and Laca, of still greater 

Exceptions sometimes were made to the regular descent, by the con- 
ceded right of the sovereign to name his successor ; and, in conse- 
quence, it has sometimes been willed to a younger instead of the elder 
son, of the same mother, and sometimes to a member of another fa- 
mily. Where special reasons existed for such a course, it was gene- 
rally concurred in by the chiefs. But these rules were often set aside, 
and personal valour decided the point. Kamehameha I. was an in- 
stance of this kind. 

A chief of inferior rank stood little chance of attaining the royal 
dignity, however highly he might be endowed ; but even the lawful 
heir, if a weak and pusillanimous man, was sure to be supplanted by a 
chief better qualified. Thus, in consequence of their being many dif- 
ferent aspirants for the high office, the death of a king was always the 
signal for a civil war. 

During the life of a king he generally signified his wish in relation 
to the descent of the crown, and often a council of chiefs was called 
upon the subject. If they all concurred, it put a stop to any diffi- 
culties, and the party nominated succeeded to the kingdom without 

If the king married a low woman, the right of her children to the 
crown was always disputed. Hence it was considered of great im- 


portance that the wife of the king should be of as high blood, if not 
higher, than any other female in the nation. For this reason, if there 
were several women of the same rank, the king felt it important to 
secure them all as his wives, in order that there might be no com- 
petition, on the ground of rank, for the kingdom after his death. On 
this account Kamehameha had five wives at the same time. In order 
to prevent the existence of competitors, it was often thought expedient 
for the kings to marry their own sisters, although this incestuous inter- 
course is, in other cases, contrary to the customs, habits, and feelings 
of the people. The offspring of such a union was deemed of the 
highest possible rank. 

It is said the present king was desirous of marrying his own sister, 
Nahienaena, but that this was prevented by the missionaries. 

The public feeling was so strong against the king's having heirs by 
a woman of inferior rank, that it often caused the children to be put to 
death in infancy by the high chiefs, in order to avoid any of them 
laying claim to the throne, or to a higher rank than they were willing 
to allow them. 

Illegitimate children of the king were almost sure to be put to death 
in infancy, and sometimes by order of the father. 

The rank of a woman was not materially altered by her marriage to 
the king. She acquired no authority in the government, and no special 
rights or privileges, but usually received a present of lands from the 
king, to be held during his lifetime. On his death, her right to them 
ceased, although they might, through courtesy, be left in her possession. 
It will easily be understood, that when a chief has a wife of the highest 
rank and purest blood, he is naturally an object of jealousy and distrust 
to the reigning house. 

Under the new constitution the descent is regulated, as has been 
seen, but great latitude of choice is allowed. The king's heir shall 
be the person whom the king and chiefs may appoint during his life- 
time. If there should be no appointment, then the chiefs and House of 
Representatives shall exercise it ; and I found it the prevailing opinion 
that their former customs would have much weight in their decision. 

The next heir to the throne has already been chosen, in the person 
of Prince Alexander, the third son of Kinau, and grandson to Kameha- 
meha I. In this choice his two elder brothers, who are quite as intelli- 
gent, have been passed over. The king is married to the daughter of 
a petty chief. It was a match of affection, and they have no children ; 
but should he have an heir, it is thought that, notwithstanding their 
former customs, the low rank of his wife, and the choice already made, 
her child would inherit. 


The government, so far as one was established in past times, was 
mainly of a feudal character, and vested in the various ranks of land- 
lords, the king being considered as the head. The power of each par- 
ticular chief was, in most cases, supreme over his own immediate vas- 
sals or tenants, and this power was not entirely confined to his own 
dependants. The chiefs having a common interest in preserving their 
power, showed great politeness and respect towards each other, so 
much so that they felt themselves at liberty to call upon the dependants 
of another without the fear of giving offence : this operated to the dis- 
advantage of the people, for instead of serving but one master they 
were subject to several. 

As a general rule, however, the authority descended in the scale of 
rank, rising from the lowest class of servants to tenants, agents, land- 
holders, land-owners, petty chiefs, high chiefs, and the king, each one 
ruling according to his own understanding, or that of his superiors. 
Of course, civil rights could not be expected under such a state of 
things, nor were any acknowledged to exist. Some general rules 
seem to have had place, and when they were infringed, the offender 
was punished, particularly if the crime was of an aggravated nature. 

Murder was punished by death ; and in the time of Kamehameha I. 
repeated instances of this crime and its punishment occurred. 

Grand larceny was also a capital offence, provided the injured 
person had power to execute the law ; the king and chiefs not unfre- 
quently espoused the cause of the injured party, and inflicted the 

Adultery was likewise often punished by death, and, in a cele- 
brated case, Kamehameha called upon his highest chiefs to act as 

The taboo, or sacred law, restrained and regulated, in a considerable 
degree, the will of those in authority, although it was in other respects 
very oppressive to the people. A chief, who was a notorious violator 
of taboo, soon became unpopular, and was eventually supplanted by 
some other who stood in higher estimation. 

As far as there was any system in their government, it was deeply 
interwoven with their religious taboos, and partook of law, custom, 
and will. The taboos that were fixed may be considered as embraced 
in the first ; the second was founded on their superstitions ; and the 
last on the power the chiefs had to enforce them. Thus, no kings 
have been thought to have governed exclusively by will and taboos ; 
custom and the fear of other chiefs had placed many restraints on 
them. Among these was the influence of a certain class of men 
whose business it was to give instruction, and rehearse the proverbs 

VOL. iv. 5 


handed down from their ancestors. These men often prophesied that 
judgment would follow if these were neglected ; but, notwithstanding, 
as may readily be supposed, bad rulers contrived to evade the taboos 
and rules, and the people had no means of redressing their grievances 
but by rebellion, and placing other chiefs in their stead. 

There were means used to publish the laws. Kamehameha was very 
particular in this respect; and there appears to have been no complaint 
that he had ever violated them himself. 

From the earliest periods of Hawaiian history, the tenure of lands 
has been, in most respects, feudal. The origin of the fiefs was the same 
as in the northern nations of Europe. Any chieftain who could collect 
a sufficient number of followers to conquer a district, or an island, and 
had succeeded in his object, proceeded to divide the spoils, or " cut up 
the land," as the natives termed it. 

The king, or principal chief, made his choice from the best of the 
lands. Afterwards the remaining part of the conquered territory was 
distributed among the leaders, and these again subdivided their shares 
to others, who became vassals, owing fealty to the sovereigns of the fee. 

The king placed some of his own particular servants on his portion 
as his agents, to superintend the cultivation. The original occupants 
who were on the land, usually remained under their new conqueror, 
and by them the lands were cultivated, and rent or taxes paid. 

This division was often a work of great difficulty. In spite of any 
wisdom and skill that could be exercised, it was no easy matter to 
satisfy every one that the division had been fairly and equally made, 
and before the business was finished, difficulties often arose, which 
ended in some cases in rebellion, and in others in open war. When 
every thing could be settled amicably, the whole body of retainers 
became bound up with the interest of the king, having every induce- 
ment to support him, for their property became safe or uncertain in 
proportion as his authority was upheld. These landholders were the 
persons on whom the king could call and rely on to support him in his 
difficulties, aid him in his plans, or fight his battles. 

The manner in which these divisions took place, shows more 
system than appears to have been practised in any other group in 

An Island was divided . . into Mokns. 

Mokus .... " Thalanas, or counties. 

Thalanas .... " Ahupnaas, or townships. 

Ahupnaas .... " His, or plantations. 

His " Moos, or small farms. 

One of the latter divisions was frequently the property of a single 


person, and instances occurred where all the moos which composed an 
Ui, were possessed by one individual. 

Every feudatory was bound to his particular land-owner, after the 
same manner as the chief or land-owner was bound to the king ; and 
thus a feudal connexion was established between the king and his 
lowest subject, by which tie the society or clan was held together. 

The king and chiefs having power even to depriving a chief not only 
of his rank, but also of his possessions, had complete control over the 
whole, and had them firmly bound to their purposes. 

This w r as the only system of government known to the Hawaiians, 
and even the older chiefs cannot be persuaded that authority or govern- 
ment can be successfully maintained by any other means. Their argu- 
ment is, " If they cannot take the people's lands away from them, what 
will they care for their authority ?" 

But, what appears extraordinary, this bond was more often severed 
by the superiors than by their vassals, notwithstanding the landlord had 
not only a right to require military service, to tax his particular tenants 
at pleasure, and demand other things, among which might be daily 
labour in any or every kind of employment, so that a labourer seldom 
received on an average more than one-third of the value of his work, 
while the different chiefs pocketed the rest. But this was not all ; even 
this portion of one-third was not secure, for they had no line of demar- 
cation by which the tenant could separate the profits of his labour from 
the property of his chief; and if he by any chance was industrious, and 
brought his farm into a good state of cultivation, he was at once 
marked out as a subject for taxation. No tenant, in short, could call 
any thing he had his own. Favouritism, jealousy, and fickleness of 
character were so general, that no landholder could consider himself 
sure of the fruits of his own exertions, and therefore would make no 
improvements, and even ridiculed the idea of attempting them. 

These exactions came so heavily at times from particular chiefs, 
that the landholders found it necessary, in order to avoid starvation, to 
hold lands at the same time under different chiefs, so that their chance 
might be greater of retaining a portion, and that the necessities of one 
of them could not entirely sweep away the whole. 

All that restrained a chief in demanding taxes or from dispossessing 
his tenants was a certain sense of propriety, which forbade the ejection 
of the actual cultivator of the land, notwithstanding the changes which 
might take place above him, so that those possessing the moos were 
seldom disturbed. Self-interest must have pointed out this course to 
the chiefs, and it not only prevented distress throughout the different 
islands, but mitigated the evils of the frequent changes that were 


occurring from one cause or another. The dispossessing a tenant of 
his lands, also took away nearly all the personal property which might 
have been acquired from them, either directly or indirectly. 

The greatest confusion and changes took place at the deaths of the 
chiefs or landholders, the right of the fief descending to heirs, who, as 
a matter of course, had followers of their own, and almost invariably 
dispossessed the old agents and put their own favourites in their places. 

On the death of a king, these changes of course affected the whole 
kingdom ; and on the demise of a chief, whatever territory had been 
subject to his sway. Under the present government the feudal tenure 
still exists, but it is greatly modified. 

The new laws define the rights of the different classes, and prescribe 
the rules by which each class shall be governed. 

Officers are also appointed to see that the regulations are observed, 
and to assess damages according to law when the rights of one class 
are invaded by those of another. 

No tax can be now laid, neither can any property be seized, not 
even by the king, except by express provision of the law, and no land- 
lord dispossesses his tenants of their fief. The right of tenure is declared 
perpetual, except being subject to forfeiture for non-payment of rent. 
The right to fix the amount of rent is regulated by law, and the people 
have a voice in the legislature, so that no new tax can be laid without 
the assent of their representatives. 

These are great modifications, which one would suppose must have 
been found immediately effective; but the evils intended to be remedied 
are but partially removed, owing to the fact that the officers who are 
employed are ignorant, and fear to thwart the interests of the chiefs 
and others. These evils, as the natives improve and become more 
familiar with their laws and rights, must entirely vanish. Even if the 
abuses should continue, they can be of no great extent, for the number 
of the superior lords of the soil is reduced to two, of whom one is the 

The taxation under the old kings was sufficiently regular ; it was 
annually assessed by the king's agents appointed for that purpose, and 
fluctuated but little. It did not extend below the ilis or plantations, 
which were taxed as follows : 

One hog, 
" dog, 
" fish-net. 
" fishing-line, 
" cluster of feathers. 

Twenty tapas, a part square, and a part long and narrow: the 


square tapas were those used for their sleeping and screens, the long 
and narrow ones for female dresses. 

The size of the hog, dog, &c., varied according to the size of the 
ili. The taxes were paid into the hands of the immediate superior, and 
so on until they reached the king, before whom they were exhibited in 
a large heap. In this mode of transmission, opportunities for holding 
back a large amount were afforded. 

Besides this tax for the maintenance of the king, there were customs 
and rules which made it necessary to make presents to the king, espe- 
cially when he was travelling, at which times himself and retinue were 
to be supported by presents from the people. This might be con- 
sidered a forced tax, for, if sufficient supplies were not furnished, the 
inhabitants suffered every kind of extortion from the king's attendants ; 
and one may have some idea of the extent of these requisitions, when 
informed that the king's party sometimes consisted of upwards of a 
thousand persons. Another direct tax was imposed on the work of 
the people, the king having a right to call out all classes of the com- 
munity to perform any kind of labour he might desire ; nor was there 
any limit as to the amount of time, or any rules for fixing it. 

The manner in which the notice of a call for labour was made, was 
for the king to give his orders to a chief of rank, who issued his direc- 
tions to other chiefs, and so on until it reached the lowest tenant. If 
the work was of any magnitude, such as building temples, or labour in 
honour of the dead, then the king issued his order to all the chiefs of 
rank, and it thence extended to the people. In such cases the highest 
persons in the nation, both male and female, were to be seen carrying 
stones on their shoulders, and engaged in other kinds of labour. 

After they had intercourse with foreigners, the mode of taxation 
became changed, and its amount was somewhat increased. 

In the case of furnishing sandalwood, the burden became at last 
quite irksome and severe. It is calculated that the traffic in this 
article lasted about thirty years, and yielded in that time upwards of 
one million of dollars. It is considered fortunate that the supply has 
become exhausted, as the collection of this wood was the most onerous 
of all the ways in which the chiefs exacted taxes from the people. 
The trade in sandalwood was likewise carried on in shares, and there- 
fore, that gathered by taxation was but a moiety of that which has 
been derived from these islands. 

There was yet another mode of taxation practised until a year or 
two before our visit ; this was by a duty on so much of the produce 
of the islands as was carried to market. At Honolulu this amounted 



to one-half, but at other places less frequented it was not as heavy. 
Besides this, a tax was levied on trades, such as the house-builders, 
&c., and even on those who washed clothes. 

The tax on land was sometimes collected in money, the poll-tax 
always. One year the government received twenty-five thousand 
dollars ; but I understood that usually it was about half that sum. 
These were government taxes; but the chiefs regulated their posses- 
sions in the same manner, and so it continued throughout down to the 
petty chiefs. It is not probable that any one could evade the host of 
tax-gatherers ; indeed, no valuable article could be held by the lower 
classes ; for if not directly falling under some of the heads of taxation, 
a mode would be devised by some one of their superiors to enable him 
to take it, or persuasion was resorted to, until it was given up to satisfy 
the demands. 

From this, it naturally resulted, that none of the lower orders, even 
if they were able, would live in a large house, cook a large hog, fish 
with a large net, or wear a dress of good cloth. 

The lower order of chiefs, not unfrequently, made use of the king's 
name to obtain the articles they wanted. This was done by spreading 
a report that the king was about to a visit a place, which at once put 
the whole community in a stir to build houses for him ; hogs and all 
articles necessary for his entertainment would be collected, and they 
even went so far at times as to cook some of the provisions. The 
king not arriving, the head men, of course, appropriated the houses, 
provisions, &c., enjoying themselves quite in royal style. 

Thanks to the enlightening influence of the missionaries, this whole 
system of taxation has gone into disuse, and the right to tax the people 
is confined to the government, in which the people themselves have a 
voice. The only tax that is left to chiefs and landlords is one of 
labour; this is now limited to three days in a month, and the tenants 
may commute it for four dollars and a half a year. 

In the laying of the taxes, it has been thought advisable to have 
them all estimated in money, although they are paid in a variety of 
ways. They are assessed on the polls and on lands. The manner of 
the assessment varies. In the first year it was made heavier on the 
polls than on the lands. The poll-tax must be paid in money; and 
if not paid at the time, it must be paid in double the amount of 
produce. This will show the dependence they place on the facility 
of gaining returns. The land-tax may be paid in produce at market 

Most of the land-tax is now paid in hogs, which it is found can be 


turned to very little advantage, as there is not much demand for them. 
The rate of the poll-tax, from year to year, according to their present 
law, is 

For able-bodied Men, .... 75 cents. 

Women, 37 " 

Boys, 18 " 

Girls, 9 " 

The land-tax is assessed, as formerly, on each ili. The amount 
varies from two and a half lo ten dollars. The size of an ili may be 
understood by its being capable of supporting about thirty people. 

The present rate of taxation of every kind is believed to amount, on 
a fair estimate, according to the government, to about eleven dollars 
and fifty cents on a family, consisting of two adults and two children; 
of this amount it is supposed that nine dollars is paid in labour, one in 
produce, and one dollar and fifty cents in money. 

The real revenue of the government falls far short of this, not 
amounting to more than fifty thousand dollars annually, when, accord- 
ing to the above data, it ought to be more than three hundred thousand 

Thus there appears to be a defect in the system, which is well known 
to the king and chiefs. Mr. Richards believes that it is owing to the 
want of a circulating medium, and the receiving those kinds of articles 
that are not available in the market for cash. The fifty thousand dol- 
lars goes to the petty chiefs and to the payment of rents, &c., leaving 
only about fourteen thousand dollars as the actual income of His Ma- 
jesty Kamehameha III. 

There are many persons who are excused from paying taxes. Thus, 
all fathers who have three children whom they support, are freed from 
the labour-tax. 

If a man has four children, he is then freed from labour-taxes both to 
the king and his landlord. 

If he has five, he is freed from the poll-tax. 

If six, he is freed from all taxation whatever. 

All old persons, and all who are sickly and feeble, all teachers of 
schools and pupils in schools where the higher branches are taught, are 
exempt from taxation, unless the pupils are landholders, when they pay 
the land-tax. 

The statistics of crime which they have are of no value, for they 
have kept no regular record. I understood that, some of the chiefs 
had kept records of the sentences that had been passed ; but they 
were so vague, so isolated, and so defective, as to be unworthy of 


All high crimes have usually been punished with death. This .was, , 
however, previous to 1824. The executions were more like assassina- 
tions than judicial punishments. Formerly among a chiefs retinue 
were executioners, called ili-muku, to whom the business of punishing 
capitally was committed. These persons became well known to the 
people, and as no trials or any sentences were promulgated, even to see 
these men abroad created general consternation, as the people knew 
not where the blow was to fall, and all those who were conscious of 
having committed any offence against the king considered themselves 
in great peril. The victims were usually attacked in the night, with- 
out giving them any warning, with clubs and stones. Such was the 
fear entertained of the king's authority, that even if the executioners 
were discovered, the nearest friends did not dare to give warning, or 
assist in resisting them. 

Those who had violated the religious taboos were seized, either 
secretly or open, by the officers of the priests, and carried to the 
temple, where they were stoned, strangled, or beaten to death with 
clubs, and then laid on the altar to putrefy. These constituted the 
great majority of executions in former times ; some indeed, were by 
order of the chiefs, and in conformity to their rules of avenging private 

A high chief, Kanihouni, was sentenced by Kamehameha to be put 
to death. As he was possessed of great power and influence, many 
precautions were taken to quell any rebellion that might arise from the 
attempt. He was executed in the following manner. The king caused 
a number of soldiers to be armed, who were concealed in a neighbour- 
ing house; he then sent a silver coin to Pitt (Ivalanimoku), who, 
having heard of the crime committed by Kanihouni, immediately un- 
derstood the secret signal. He at once repaired to the king's house, 
where he received his orders, and several of the high chiefs were also 
ordered to aid him in the execution. 

Kamehameha I. was greatly importuned to grant a pardon to 
Kanihouni, for all the higher chiefs were his relations; but he was 
inexorable, and finally threatened them, if his orders were not carried 
into effect, he \vould cause some of them to be substituted instead of 
the criminal. 

The chiefs, finding that entreaty was in vain, went openly to the 
house of Kanihouni, and put him to death in a very unusual manner. 
A rope being put around his neck, and the ends of it being passed 
through the opposite sides of the house, they took hold of them and 
strangled him. 

After the introduction of edged tools, and especially axes, beheading 


secretly in the night became a common form of execution. The last 
instance of this occurred in 1822. 

The king sent an ili-muku in the night, who found the criminal 
fast asleep, his wife by his side ; and it is said that the ili-muku gently 
pulled the woman's head on one side, and with a broadaxe instantly 
severed the head of the husband from his body. 

In 1824, an officer at Hawaii was guilty of high treason in at- 
tempting to give up the fort (in which he was serving) to the rebels. 
By the order of Kalanimoku, he was taken on board a vessel, under 
pretence of being sent to Oahu ; during the passage, at night, he was 
taken on deck, stabbed, and thrown overboard. This is said to have 
been the last punishment in the form of assassination. Since then, 
capital offences have been regularly tried by jury, and executions have 
been by hanging, of which the first instance was in 1826. 

The whole number of executions for murder since 1826, have been 
as follows : 






In all 13 

Besides another murder on Hawaii, in which the culprit committed 
suicide ; thus averaging one a year in the whole group, besides two 
cases of manslaughter. 

The mythology of the Hawaiians is extensive and complicated ; but 
their gods are fast being forgotten, and few are willing to spend much 
time in attending to them. Little information on this subject is to be 
derived from any one with whom I had an opportunity of conversing. 
What is known is contained in published accounts. 

Traditions were extremely numerous, and many have been already 
published in the Hawaiian Spectator. 

The Hawaiians appear to have but little knowledge of astronomy. 
Hoapili, who died a short time before our arrival, was accounted one 
of their most skilful astrologers. They had some knowledge of the 
planets, with five of which they were acquainted, viz. : Mercury 
(Kawela), Venus (Naholoholo), Jupiter (Hoomanalonala), Mars (Holo- 
kolapinaau), Saturn (Mukula). There was a class of persons whose 
employment was to watch the motions of the stars, and who from prac- 
tice became tolerably accurate observers of many celestial phenomena. 
They were in the habit of telling the hour of the night quite as cor- 

VOL. IV. D2 6 


rectly as they did the hour of the day by the sun. This remark applies 
more particularly to the fishermen and those who were employed during 
the night. 

It was by the particular position of the planets (or " wandering 
stars") in relation to certain fixed ones, that their soothsayers grounded 
their predictions of the fate of battles, and the success of all enter- 

The contiguity of the planets to certain fixed stars and constella- 
tions, some of which had names, foretold the speedy death of some 
chief. The goddess of volcanoes (Pele) was supposed to hold inter- 
course with the travelling stars, and from their movements hers were 
oftentimes predicted. 

The motions of the stars in the vicinity of the north pole attracted 
much of their attention, and was often a subject of discussion among 
their astrologers. These they designated as the regular travelling 
stars, the planets were the wandering ones. 

Of the true motions, they had no knowledge whatever. Their best 
chronologists measured time by means both of the moon and fixed 
stars. The year was divided into twelve months, and each month into 
thirty days. They had a distinct name for each of the days of the 
month. The following is a copy of the Hawaiian calendar. 



Kaelo .... 

. . April. 

Kaulua .... 



Welo .... 


Ihiki .... 






Kinaiaelele . . . 


. . October. 

Hilinehu . . . 


. . November. 

Hclenama . . 


1. Hilo, day of new moon. 

11. Huna. 

21. Olekukalii 

2. Hoaka. 

12. Mohalu. 

22. Olekulua. 

3. Kukahi. 

13. Hua. 

23. Olepau. 

4. Kulua. 

14. Akua. 

24. Kaloakuki 

5. Kukolu. 

15. Hoku. 

25. Kaloakulu 

G. Kupau. 

16. Mahealaui. 

26. Kalo;ip;in. 

7. Olekukahi. 

17. Kuhi. 

27. Knuo. 

8. Olekulua. 

18. Laaukukahi. 

28. Lono. 

9. Olekukolu. 

19. Laaukulua. 

29. Matili. 

10. Olepau. 

20. Laaupau. 

30. Muku. 

H A W A I I A N G R O U P. 43 

The names of the months were not the same at all the islands, but 
those of the days were. 

On the island of Hawaii, to each month was assigned a particular 
business, as follows : 

1. Naua, -\ 

2. Welo, Months for war. 

3. Ikikiki, J 

4. Kaona, taboo the opelu. 

5. Hinaiaeleele, catch the opelu. 

G. Hilinchu, ) 

_ , T ... > Taxingf months. 

7. Hilmama, $ 

8. Ikuwa, prayers, games, and dissipations. 

9. Wailehu, annual feast, and pay taxes. 

10. Makalii, idols carried around the island ; demanding taxes. 

11. Kaelo (January), offerings for the dead; catch boneta. 

12. Kaulau, fishing boneta. 

Farming was carried on at all seasons of the year. 

It is not a little singular that two islands so closely in the vicinity of 
each other as Hawaii and Maui, both speaking the same language, 
should have had their monthly calendar varying nearly two months. 

With regard to the days, they commenced numbering them on the 
first day the new moon is seen in the west. 

This made it necessary for them to correct their reckoning every 
two or three months, and reduce their year to twelve lunations in- 
stead of three hundred and sixty-five days. The difference between 
the sidereal and lunar year they are said to have discovered, and to 
have corrected their reckoning by the stars, for which reason in practice 
their years varied, some containing twelve and others thirteen lunations. 

They likewise applied corrections to their months, giving them 
twenty-nine and thirty days. Although this caused many breaks in 
their system, yet their chronologists could always tell the name of the 
day and month on which any great event had occurred ; and it is easy 
to reduce their time to ours, except when the change of the moon 
takes place about the middle of our calendar months, when there is 
a liability to a mistake of a whole month. Another error is apt to 
occur in the uncertainty of the day when the moon is discovered in 
the west. It may readily be conceived that their own method did 
not tend to much accuracy, as they had to rely entirely upon their 

Eclipses were thought to be an attack on the sun and moon, by the 
gods, and presaged a war or some other disaster.* 

* In Appendix III. will be found an account of their heathen gods, and the ceremonies 
attendant on the consecration of their heiaus. 


They thought that much of their success depended on working in 
unison with the heavenly bodies; yet, as I before said, they had not the 
slightest notion of the most simple astronomical calculation. 

The first little book published that contained some of the true prin- 
ciples of astronomy, awakened their surprise very much ; and the 
almanac published afterwards by the mission, predicting the phases 
of the moon, eclipses, tides, &c., excited in them great interest, and 
as was natural, raised the missionaries very much in their estimation. 

They were very slow in adopting the idea of the earth being round, 
and Hoapili was known to have argued the point with many of them, 
insisting on their not being too precipitate in condemning the foreign 
theory, as he himself was aware that in some of his fishing excursions, 
he had observed that the beach was always lost sight of first. 

There is proof, however, of their connecting the action of the tide 
with the moon, and from her appearance they were able to tell the 
state of the tides. 

In their navigation they never, if they could avoid it, subjected 
themselves to get out of sight of land, and were never so except by 
accident. When they found this to be the case, they made use of the 
heavenly bodies, if visible ; and being accurate observers of the wea- 
ther and atmospheric changes, they were enabled to find their way 
back again ; for the various changes of weather about the Hawaiian 
Islands, and the appearance these changes brought about in the clouds 
over and in the vicinity of the land, afforded them a sure guide. 
From all accounts, it is supposed that but few persons have been 
lost, by being driven or sailing off (through mistake) from the land. 
Many disasters, however, have arisen, from the frailty and smallness 
of their canoes, although their good management of them was pro- 
verbial, particularly in the surf. Of late, and since they have pos- 
sessed foreign vessels, they have lost much of their skill. These 
vessels they manage after their own way, and although many have 
been lost by wreck on the islands, I did not hear of any having been 
blown off. Some amusing anecdotes were told me of their negligence 
and inability to keep awake during the night. 

They are quite fearless on the water ; all swim, and have little fear 
of loss of life by drowning. They appear quite as much at home in 
the water as on land, and many of them more so. 

Many remarkable instances of their patience under this kind of 
fatigue, were mentioned to me. One of them, which happened the 
year of our arrival, is well authenticated, and will also tend to show 
very great attachment and endurance in the female sex. 

As the Hawaiian schooner Kiola, commanded by an American 


named Thompson, who \vas married to Kaiha, a female chief, was 
going to Hawaii, having on board many passengers, on getting into 
the straits between Maui and Hawaii the schooner foundered, and all 
on board, forty-five in number, were obliged to take to swimming for 
safety. Thompson could swim but little, but his wife was quite expert 
in the art; she promptly came to his aid, placed him on an oar, and 
swam for the shore. The accident occurred on Sunday about noon, 
when she with many others began to swim for the nearest land, which 
was Kahoolawe. She continued to support her husband until Monday 
morning, when he died from exhaustion, and she did not succeed in 
reaching the shore until that afternoon. She clung to him to the last, 
at the imminent risk of her own life, and was thirty hours in the 
water ; she was met by some fishermen on landing, who took charge 
of, and brought her back to Maui. 

I have also been told that there are many instances of such deep 
attachment among the Hawaiians, and that in former times widows 
and widowers have been known to commit suicide, or pine away with 
grief at the loss of their partners. Similar evidences of affection and 
attachment were also exhibited between parents and children. 

Notwithstanding the instances of this kind, I must say from my 
own observation, that I should not be inclined to believe there is much 
natural affection among them ; nor is there apparently any domestic 
happiness. Thus, it is not an unusual thing for a husband to tell you 
he has whipped his wife, because she has eaten up all his poe and fish. 
Formerly their laws of taboo were calculated to produce any thing 
but a kindly feeling towards the female sex ; nor is it contended that 
they were of much if any consequence, if they were not of the highest 
class. These, as has already been mentioned, have great influence 
over the acts of government. 

At the time of the advent of the missionaries, marriage was hardly- 
known among them, and all the rules they observed, in relation to 
sexual intercourse, were a few regulating the extent of their licentious- 
ness. From tradition, however, it is believed that the marriage tie 
was more regarded prior to the discovery of the island than since. 
Yet it is good evidence that this tie produced no greater happiness, or 
rather that they did not look to it as a source of happiness, when it is 
found that none of their songs, elegies, or other poetic effusions, have 
any allusion to it ; nor are there any terms in the language to express 
connubial bliss. 

The natives of this group generally show very little attachment to 
their children. All classes of females are unwilling to be burdened 
with the trouble of them, and, whenever it is possible, commit them 


to others to nurse. Although I observed this frequently, yet I was 
told that, since the institution of marriage, a change for the better has 
taken place; but all admit that this has not been to any great extent. 
There are certainly instances in which many members of a family 
are united and live in harmony, and I can readily believe that the wish 
to have families is daily increasing, as the laws now protect and hold 
out inducements to those who have large ones. For these laws the 
natives are indebted to the missionaries, who have certainly effected 
this desired change. This change will do more to improve the cha- 
racter of this people than any other circumstance; and, by care and 
watchfulness over the wants and pleasures of the rising generation, the 
parents will lose some of that selfishness, which is now so predominant 
a characteristic, that a very short time spent among them suffices to 
show its general prevalence. 

According to the missionaries and residents, a native is content if he 
can obtain a little poe and fish, and regards nothing beyond. This, 
however, according to my experience, is rating them too low ; and 
probably proceeds from their unwillingness to be taught, or become 
passive to the will of the missionaries, or to exert themselves as much 
as those doing business for money, and seeking for profit out of their 
labour, desire. Thus, with different ends in view, they arrive at the 
same conclusion. In regard to the energies of the natives, as far as 
my own observations extended, they are always willing to work for a 
reasonable compensation ; and it is not remarkable that they should 
prefer their own ease to toiling for what they consider, in the one case, 
unnecessary, and, in the other, for an inadequate reward. 

Having little motive for industry, they expend their physical ener- 
gies in various athletic sports. A favourite amusement of the chiefs 
was sliding down hill on a long narrow sled : this was called holua ; it 
was not unlike our boys' play, when we have snow. The sled was 
made to slide on one runner, and the chiefs prostrated themselves on 
it. For this sport they had a trench dug from the top of a steep hill 
and down its sides, to a great distance over the adjoining plain. This 
being made quite smooth, and having dry grass laid on it, they were 
precipitated with great velocity down it, and, it is said, were frequently 
carried a half, and sometimes a whole mile. Diamond Hill and the 
plain of Waikiki was one of these localities for this pastime. 

Playing in the surf was another of their amusements, and is still 
much practised. It is a beautiful sight to see them coming in on tl'3 
top of a heavy roller, borne along with increasing rapidity until they 
suddenly disappear. What we should look upon as the most danger- 
ous surf, is that they most delight in. The surf-board which they use 


is about six feet in length and eighteen inches wide, made of some light 
wood. After they have passed within the surf, they are seen buffeting 
the waves, to regain the outside, whence they again take their course, 
with almost the speed of an aerial flight. They play for hours in this 
way, never seeming to tire; and the time to see a Hawaiian happy, is 
while he is gambolling and frolicking in the surf. I have stood for 
hours watching their sport with great interest, and, I must say, with 
no little envy. 

Next in interest to the foregoing amusements, were their dances. 
Some of these consisted, as among the other islanders, in gesture to a 
monotonous song, whose lascivious meaning was easily interpreted. 
Many persons were engaged in these dances, of which some are said 
to have been graceful ; but if so, the people must have sadly changed 
since their first intercourse with the whites. 

Their music consisted of drumming on various hollow vessels, cala- 
bashes, &c. ; but the instrument most used by those who could afford 
one, was a piece of shark's skin, drawn tight over a hollow log. 

Since the introduction of Christianity, these amusements have been 
interdicted ; for, although the missionaries were somewhat averse to 
destroying those of an innocent character, yet, such was the proneness 
of all to indulge in lascivious thoughts and actions, that it was deemed 
by them necessary to put a stop to the whole, in order to root out the 
licentiousness that pervaded the land. They therefore discourage any 
kind of nocturnal assemblies, as they are well satisfied that it would 
take but little to revive these immoral propensities with more force than 
ever. The watchfulness of the government, police, and missionaries, 
is constantly required to enforce the due observance of the laws. 

The principal games now in vogue among them, are cards, of which, 
as they minister to their love of gambling, they are passionately fond, 
and often indulge in. 

They had likewise the amusement of see-saw, which has not yet 
gone quite out of fashion, and is performed in a manner somewhat 
different from ours. A forked post is placed in the ground ; on this a 
long pole is placed, which admits several on each side. After two or 
three ups and downs, they try which shall give the opposite party a 
tumble. This is, at times, adroitly done, and down they all fall, to the 
infinite amusement both of their adversaries and the bystanders, who 
indulge in loud laughter and merriment at the expense of those who 
are so unlucky as to get hurt. They are particularly ungallant, in this 
respect, to their female associates. 

The practice of medicine was not known in ancient times ; they 
had then no physicians, and the only medical treatment, if such it may 



be called, was, when they had eaten too heartily of food, to drink sea- 
water in large quantities, to produce a cathartic effect. They used the 
loomi-loomi, or kneading the flesh with the hands, in cases of fatigue, 
over-eating, and pains ; and this is yet quite general. 

The practice of medicine is said to have taken its rise in the reign 
of Atapai, the predecessor of Kalaiopua, who was king when Cook 
visited the islands : since that time there has been a distinct class in 
this employment. An epidemic, which prevailed extensively, is said 
to have been the origin of this class, and their number was greatly 
increased afterwards, in the reign of Kamehameha I. ; and after this 
they were to be found in great numbers, furnished with a variety of 










SATURDAY in Honolulu is a gala day, and all ages of both sexes 
devote themselves to amusement. Towards the afternoon, they may 
be seen wending their way towards the east end of the town, in every 
variety of costume, and borne along in every possible manner. All who 
have health enough must engage in this day's sport, and every horse is 
in requisition. The national taste, if I may so speak, is riding horses; 
and the more break-neck and furious the animal is, the better. Nicety 
of equipment is not thought of: any thing answers for a saddle and 
bridle, and as for stirrups, they are considered quite unnecessary. By 
four o'clock the crowd is well collected, and feats of horsemanship are 
practised, consisting generally in those involuntary tumblings that 
inexpert riders are wont to indulge in. The great gathering is on the 
eastern plain, the road to which is well covered with dust. The whole 
looks, when the crowd has possession of it, not unlike a rag fair, the 
predominant colour being yellow. They are generally well behaved, 
and the only sufferers are the poor horses, who are kept running, not 
races only, but for the amusement of the riders, whose great delight is 
to ride at full speed. At times there are races, in which case the 
crowd is increased by the addition of the foreigners, many of whom 
are in a state of intoxication. The uproar is proportionably great, 
and the natives are less conspicuous, their places being occupied by 
those whose morals and enjoyments are far from being as innocent. 
When his majesty and suite are present, much more order and decorum 
are observed, and the whole affords a pleasing and amusing sight. The 
returning throng is headed by the king and his party, after whom follow 
the crowd in a somewhat uproarious style ; those on horses indiscrimi- 



nately mixed, racing and hallooing ; the fair riders being borne along, 
amidst clouds of dust so thick, that were it not for the rustling of flow- 
ing silks and tapas, one would be at a loss to know their sex. By the 
evening, all is again quiet, and the streets are nearly deserted. 

Sunday is ushered in with a decorum and quietness that would 
satisfy the most scrupulous Puritan. I have often had occasion to 
speak of the strict observance of the Sabbath among the Polynesian 
islands ; and this strictness is no less remarkable here. Such is the 
force of example, that even the least orderly of the foreigners are 
prevented from indulging in any excesses; which, considering the 
worthless population the town of Honolulu contains, is a proof of the 
excellence of the police regulations, and the watchfulness of the guar- 
dians of the iaw. 

There are several congregations of natives, some of which consist 
of two thousand persons, all decently clad, exceedingly well behaved, 
arid attentive. The Rev. Mr. Armstrong officiates in the oldest 
church, which is at the east end of the town. It is a long grass 
building, calculated to accommodate a very large number of persons : 
the pulpit, or desk, is in the middle of one of the sides. Service is 
held twice a day. The Rev. Mr. Smith has also a large church, 
situated at the west end of the town. 

There is a very large church in progress of building, of coral, 
taken from the reef, which will be capable of containing a congrega- 
tion of two thousand people. The funds for its erection are provided 
by the government ; Dr. Judd, of the mission, has the general super- 
intendence of its construction ; and it is entirely the work of natives. 
It makes a good appearance, though I cannot say much for its archi- 
tectural taste and beauty. It has a small steeple, sufficient to contain 
a clock and bell. 

There are several schools under the superintendence of the mis- 
sionaries, besides the school for the chiefs, before spoken of, and a 
charity school for half-breeds. I attended their examinations; and 
the natives performed better than I anticipated. At an examination 
in the old church, there were seven hundred children, and as many 
more parents. The attraction that drew together such numbers, was 
a feast, which I understood was given annually. The scholars had 
banners, with various mottoes, in Hawaiian, (which were translated to 
me,) as emblematical of purity, good conduct, steadfast in faith, &c. 
It was as pleasing a sight as the Sunday-school exhibitions at home; 
and it gave Captain Hudson and myself great pleasure, at the request 
of the missionaries, to say a few words of encouragement to them. 
After the services were over, the scholars formed a procession, and 


walked to Mr. Smith's church, the children of the governor and chiefs 
heading the procession. I was invited in due form to the feast, and 
as it was a place where I anticipated some display of the native 
character, I made a point of going. On my arrival at the church I 
found several tables set out, one for the accommodation of the chiefs, 
furnished as we see for a 4th of July lunch at home, with hams, tur- 
keys, chickens, pies, &c. The common people's children took their 
poe and raw fish on the floor. 

On arriving at the church, the governor became master of ceremo- 
nies, and with his numerous aids endeavoured to direct the throng ; 
but all were too eager to get the most convenient seats to heed his 
commands, and the uproar was great. Some stopped short of their 
allotted place, and the church soon became a human hive. The 
governor did his utmost to maintain order and silence, but his voice 
was not heard ; for in such a moment the anxiety he was under to 
have things conducted with good order, caused him for a time to lose 
sight of his usual urbanity and decorum of behaviour. He in fact 
showed that a little of the unbridled ferocity of former times was 
still within him, which moved him repeatedly to use his fist, and that 
too upon the fair sex, tumbling them over amid calabashes of poe, raw 
fish, &c., but with little injury to the individuals. Order was at last 
restored for a few minutes, during which grace was said by the Rev. 
Mr. Smith ; which being ended, the clatter of tongues, clashing of 
teeth, and smacking of lips began. It was a joyous sight to see fifteen 
hundred human beings so happy and gratified by this molasses feast : 
poe and raw fish were the only additions. The latter are every-day 
food, so that the molasses constituted the special treat. So great is the 
fondness of the natives for it, that I was told many are induced to send 
their children to school, merely to entitle them to be present at this 
feast, It was not a little amusing to see the wistful faces without, con- 
trasted with the joyous and happy ones within ; in one place might be 
seen a sturdy native biting a piece from a raw fish, and near him ano- 
ther sucking the poe off his fingers, with much grace and sleight of 
hand. The molasses was either drank with water or sucked from the 
fingers. I thought that selfishness predominated among the crowd ; the 
parents and children did not entirely harmonize as to the share that 
was due to each, and none seemed fully satisfied. Of the molasses 
there was " short commons ;" but, all things considered, the feast went 
off well. I regretted it had not been held in the open fields, and that 
the natives were not allowed to have the whole management, without 
being so immediately under the eye of their teachers ; for though suffi- 



ciently uproarious, they were evidently under some restraint. When 
the food had been consumed, silence was again restored and thanks 
returned, after which the whole crowd soon vanished. While this was 
going forward among the common people, those at the table of the old 
and young chiefs were not idle. The turkeys, pies, &c., appeared 
quite acceptable, although they were not so great a rarity to them as 
the molasses feast was to the others. As far as enjoyment went, I 
should have preferred to have been one of the poor scholars. 

At the schools, it has been observed that the scholars are extremely 
fond of calculations in arithmetic, and possess extraordinary talent in 
that way. So great is their fondness for it, that in some schools the 
teachers have had recourse to depriving them of the study as a 
punishment. I was rather surprised with their readiness when 
numerical questions were put to them. I met some who were very- 
ready accountants, though their desire of change and want of stability 
of character prevent them from engaging in any constant and steady 
employment where the above qualifications would be of practical use 
This defect of character, together with the prejudice of foreigners 
who are engaged in employments where they might be useful, pre- 
vents their service from being available. 

In the neighbourhood of the old churches, near the mission, is the 
burying-ground, which is a mere common, and the graves are exposed 
to every kind of neglect. Foreigners, as well as natives, are buried 
here. The only grave that was pointed out to me, was that of Douglas, 
the botanist, which was without any inscription whatever. He was 
gored to death, on Hawaii, having fallen into one of the cattle-pits, 
where a wild bull had been entrapped. The skull of the bull was lying 
in the yard of an inhabitant of Honolulu. It is to be hoped that when 
the new church shall be finished, the space which adjoins it will claim 
from the authorities some attention, and be suitably enclosed. 

I was much struck with the absence of sports among the boys and 
children. On inquiry, I learned that it had, after mature deliberation 
and experience, been considered advisable by the missionaries to 
deprive them of all their heathenish enjoyments, rather than allow 
them to occupy their minds with any thing that might recall old 
associations. The consequence is, that the Hawaiian boys are staid 
and demure, having the quiet looks of old men. I cannot doubt that they 
possess the natural tendency of youth towards frolicksome relaxations ; 
but the fear of offending keeps a constant restraint over them. It might 
be well, perhaps, to introduce some innocent amusements ; and indeed 1 
believe this has been attempted, for I occasionally saw them flying kites. 


The native games formerly practised were all more or less those of 
hazard, which doubtless gave them their principal zest. 

The governor was kind enough, at my request, to have the game of 
maika played. This was formerly a favourite amusement of the chiefs, 
and consists in the art of rolling a stone of the above name. I had 
heard many extraordinary accounts of the distance to which this could 
be thrown or rolled, which was said to be sometimes upwards of a 

In some places they had trenches dug for this game upwards of a 
mile in length, about three feet wide and two deep, with the bottom 
level, smooth, and hard. The game is, still practised, (although none of 
the trenches remain,) on any level ground that may be suitable. In the 
present instance, the governor selected the road in front of the house I 
occupied. There was a large concourse of spectators, and several 
men were chosen by the governor to throw. The maika is a piece of 
hard lava, in the shape of a small wheel or roller, three inches in dia- 
meter and an inch and a half thick, very smooth and highly polished. 
The greatest distance to which they were thrown by the most expert 
player, was four hundred and twenty yards. Many were extremely 
awkward, and it was necessary for the spectators to stand well on the 
side of the road for fear of accidents. All of them threw the maika 
with much force, which was evident from its rebounding when it met 
with any obstruction. The crowd, which amounted to three thousand 
persons, were greatly amused. This was their great gambling game, 
and such was its fascination, that property, wives, children, their arm 
and leg bones after death, and even themselves while living, would be 
staked on a single throw in the heathen time. 

They have another game, which I was told is now more in vogue 
than it has been for some years. The revival of it is attributed by 
some to the visit of the French frigate Artemise ; and certainly the 
natives do not appear to feel themselves so much restricted in their 
amusements as they did before that event. It is called buhenehene, 
and consists in hiding a stone under several bundles of tapa, generally 
five. He who conceals it sits on one side of the bundles, while those 
playing occupy a place opposite to him. The bundles are usually of 
different colours, and about the size of a pillow. Each player has a 
stick three feet long, ornamented with a feather or cloth, with which 
each in turn designates the bundle under which he thinks the stone is 
hidden, by a blow. If the guess be correct, it counts one in his favour ; 

I if wrong, he who has concealed it gains one. He who first counts ten 
wins the game. This game appears very simple, and one would be in- 
clined to believe it all luck, until the game is witnessed ; it is really 


amusing to a bystander, for the players always evince great eagerness, 
and during the operation of concealment, the face and eyes are nar- 
rowly watched by some, while the muscles of the bare arm are by 
others. So satisfied are they that the eye betrays the place of conceal- 
ment, that the hider covers his eyes until he hears the stroke of the rod. 
An expert player is rarely deceived, however often the hand may be 
passed to and fro under the bundles. This game is now played for 
pigs, tapa, taro, &c. 

The governor gave us an exhibition of throwing the lance, which he 
said had formerly been a favourite amusement of all the people, but 
was now practised only by the soldiers. The lance or spear is formed 
of a pole of the hibiscus, from seven to nine feet in length, on the larger 
end of which is a small roll of tapa. The exhibition was in the fort, 
where several soldiers had prepared themselves for the exercise. One 
of them placed himself at a distance of fifteen or twenty paces from 
three or four others, who endeavoured to hit him. He evaded the 
spears by throwing his body on one side, stooping, and dodging, in a 
very graceful manner. After this they were ordered to divide, and 
began throwing at each other, until, when one or two had been hit 
rather severely, the contest waxed warm, and blows were dealt with- 
out much ceremony, until the combatants came to close quarters, when 
the sport ended in a scuffle, which it required the authoritative voice 
of the governor to terminate. 

This scene was highly amusing, and was the only occasion during 
my stay at the islands, in which I saw any temper shown, or any dis- 
position to fight. The natives, indeed, are remarkably good-tempered ; 
and many persons long resident here stated to me they very seldom 
quarrelled with each other. I have observed that when they see 
another in a passion they generally laugh, although they themselves 
may be the object of it. 

In the latter part of October, when the Vincennes had nearly finished 
her repairs, it was discovered that her foremast was so rotten as to 
make it necessary to take it out and rebuild it on shore. By using one 
of the spare topmasts and purchasing a spar, we succeeded in rebuild- 
ing it. The cheeks and trestle-trees of the Peacock's mast had also to 
be replaced in consequence of decay. These were vexatious occur- 
rences, occupying the little time we had to spare, and making it un- 
certain whether we should be able to perform the remainder of our 
work. Fortunately, we found at Honolulu good workmen, disposed to 
afford us all the assistance in their power, and being also well provided 
ourselves with carpenters, we were enabled to overcome these diffi- 
culties in time, though at considerable expense. 


Among our other duties, a court-martial became necessary. The 
services we were engaged in had rendered it impossible to convene 
one prior to our arrival here ; and if it had not been for the imperative 
necessity of making an example in the case of two marines on board 
the Peacock, I should have been inclined still to defer it from want 
of time. Besides the two marines, there was an unruly fellow by the 
name of Sweeny, an Englishman, who had been shipped in the 
tender at New Zealand, and was at times so riotous on board my ship, 
that I determined to try him also. A court composed of the oldest 
officers of the squadron sentenced them " to be flogged at such time 
and place as the commander of the squadron might think proper." 
Understanding from our consul that the sailors of the whaling fleet, 
as is most generally the case, were disposed to be disorderly, and my 
interference having been several times asked for, I thought it a good 
opportunity to show the crews of all these vessels that authority to 
punish offences existed. I therefore ordered the sentence of the 
court to be put into execution publicly, after the usual manner in such 
cases ; a part of the punishment to be inflicted at each vessel, dimi- 
nishing very much its extent in the cases of the two marines. At 
the time of the infliction of the punishment I received a letter (for 
which see Appendix IV.) from the most respectable portion of the 
crew, requesting Sweeny's discharge, and stating that he was a 
troublesome character. To insure his dismissal, they offered to pay 
all the debts he might owe to the government. As he had no claim 
on the squadron or flag, which, I was afterwards told, he had fre- 
quently cursed, and as he had been only six months in the squadron 
(having joined it with scarce a shirt to his back), I resolved to comply 
with the men's request, and sent him out of the squadron at once, 
with his bag and hammock, far better off* than when he joined us. 
The ship became orderly again, having got rid of one of the greatest 
of the many rascals who are found roaming about Polynesia. 

This act, together with the legal punishment of the marines for 
refusing to do duty, when their time of service had not expired, was 
another of the many complaints brought against me on my return. 

I have obtained a copy of the enlistment of the marines, (which 
will be found in Appendix V.,) that it may be seen whether it was, or 
was not, my duty to hold control over these men. The signing of the 
roll of enlistment took place before I took command of the squadron. 
The original document was on file in the Navy Department, when the 
judge advocate of the court was endeavouring to prove there was no 
such document in existence. 

The men's time of liberty having expired, they were again received 
VOL. iv 8 


on board, heartily sick of their frolic. They were remarkably orderly 
and well-behaved while on shore, and indeed the police is so efficient 
that it would have been impossible for them to be riotous, if so dis- 
posed, without finding themselves prisoners in the fort. I must here 
do Governor Kekuanaoa the justice to say, that he performs the part 
of a most excellent and energetic magistrate, and while he insists on 
others conforming to the laws, he is equally mindful of them himself. 
His fault, if he errs, lies in carrying them into effect too quickly and 
without sufficient examination. An instance of this fell under my 
observation, which will be spoken of at a future time. 

The usual amusements for visiters in Honolulu, are billiards, bowl- 
ing-alleys, riding, and visiting. There are but few vehicles, and in 
consequence of the want of roads, these can go no further than the 
eastern plain, which is but a short distance. A road for wheel-car- 
riages might be constructed from one end of the island to the other 
without difficulty, and with little expense; and this is the only island of 
the group where it would be practicable from end to end. 

The roads for horses are mere foot-paths, which at times pass over 
very difficult places, that by a short turn might be avoided, and with 
a great saving of labour. This, however, never seems to enter a 
native's head, and the neglect to improve the roads is akin to his 
irrational expedient of doubling his load by adding stones as a coun- 
terpoise, instead of dividing his bundle. 

Desirous of having as thorough an examination made of all the 
islands of the group as possible, and the repairs of the tender being 
completed, I put Mr. Knox in charge of her, and sent her with several 
of the naturalists to Kauai, with instructions to land them, on their 
return, on the west side of Oahu, for its examination. 

They left Honolulu on the 25th of October, and experiencing light 
winds, did not reach Kauai, although distant only a few hours' sail, 
until the morning of the 27th, when they were landed at Koloa, on the 
southeast side of that island. Here a heavy sea was rolling. After 
the vessel anchored, some canoes came off, and the people pointed out 
a good landing in a small rocky cove, that appeared as though it had 
once been a large cavern, whose top had fallen in. 

On landing, they entered an extensive level plain, bounded by a 
ridge of mountains, and cultivated in sugar-cane and mulberries. 
Captain Stetson has an establishment here built of adobes, but these 
are not found to be adapted to the climate. The environs of Kol--a 
ailord some pasturage; the soil is good, though dry and very stony; 
the grass and foliage, however, looked luxuriant. About two miles 
from Koloa, Captain Stetson has his silk establishment, consisting ol 


mulberry-grounds, cocoonery, &c. Our gentlemen were kindly re- 
ceived by Messrs. Stetson, Peck, Burnham, and others. 

Agreeably to instructions, the naturalists divided themselves into 
three parties one, consisting of Dr. Pickering and Mr. Brackenridge, 
was to cross over the centre of the island, from Waimea to Halelea, 
observing the botany of the high ground ; another, comprising, Messrs. 
Peale and Rich, was to proceed along the coast on its eastern side ; 
and the third party, Messrs Dana and Agate, intended to pursue an 
intermediate course, to view the scenery, geological formation, &c. 
The schooner was in the mean time to make some examinations of the 
roadsteads and small harbours of the island. 

There were two old craters near the beach, which were visited. 
Only a few trees were observed. On the low wet grounds are taro- 
patches and fish-ponds. Among the few interesting plants were a 
species of Daphne, a Cleome, and some Sidas. The garden of Captain 
Stetson contained several ornamental plants, brought from St. Catha- 
rine's, Brazil. The garden had a pretty appearance, being enclosed 
with a hedge of ti plants (Dracaena), set closely together, about five 
feet in height, topped with thin, wide-spreading leaves, while the walks 
were bordered with Psilotum instead of box. 

The mulberry trees do not produce well here, being subject to 
blight, and requiring great attention. This is thought to be owing to 
the dryness of the strong trade-winds that constantly blow, and which 
have parted with their moisture in passing over the high lands of Oahu, 
lying directly to windward. 

The silk is reeled by native women. The specimens seen appeared 
of good quality, but were not reeled sufficiently fine, or with that atten- 
tion to economy which is necessary to its profitable cultivation. It is 
thought it will prove a good article for the Mexican market, for use in 

From what I understood at Honolulu, this silk establishment, having 
been formed on too expensive a scale, has been a failure, and the capi- 
tal, or original outlay, is considered as entirely sunk. The possibility 
of success is not doubted by those who have failed; but these silk 
establishments should begin by small outlays and be gradually ex- 
tended by the investment of the profits. 

About a mile back from the landing is the mission-house, and the 
sugar establishment of Messrs. Ladd & Co., with a well-made road 
leading to it. Beyond this, on the brow of the hill, is situated the 
house of Mr. Peck, enjoying as fine a prospect as is to be found in 
these islands. Around his establishment, in native-built houses, are the 


The sugar-mills of Ladd & Co. are said to be doing a good business. 
They are turned by water. The sugar is of a fair quality, and has 
been sold in the United States at a profit. The natives are induced to 
raise the sugar-cane, which is sometimes ground, or manufactured, on 
shares, and is also bought. The labour of the natives, in raising the 
cane, costs twelve and a half cents per day. This, however, is paid in 
paper currency, issued by Ladd & Co., redeemable at their store ; 
consequently the price of the labour is no more than six and a quarter 
cents ; for the sale of goods is rarely made in these islands under a 
profit of one hundred per cent. The want of a native currency is 
beginning to be much felt, both by the government and people ; a fact 
that will tend to show the advance they have made and are making in 

The sugar, I understood, could be afforded in the United States at 
from four to four and a half cents the pound. This, however, I think 
is rather a Jow estimate, to include growth, manufacture, freight, and 

Dr. Pickering and Mr. Brackenridge set out on foot, the day after 
the tender arrived, along the southern coast, for Waimea, distant 
eighteen miles, in order to take the western route across the island. 
The whole distance between Koloa and Waimea was found to be a 
series of sunburnt hills and barren plains, sloping gradually from the 
base of the mountains to the ocean, and now and then intersected 
with ravines, or, as they are called in the Hawaiian Islands, " gulches." 
Only a few coarse grasses are met with, quite unfit for pasture. 

At Waimea, the fort built by the Russians, under their absurd trade- 
master, Dr. Schoof, is still in existence. His ambition would have 
made him the proprietor of the whole island, although his only business 
was to take possession of the remains of the wreck of a ship belonging 
to the Russian Company, that had been lost in the bay. Several Russian 
vessels were afterwards sent there, which Schoof took charge of, by 
displacing their masters. It is said he made presents to Kamehameha 
I., and received in return a grant of land from him ; some accounts say, 
the whole island ! It is quite certain, however, that Kamehameha's 
fears were excited by the reports that were circulated from time to 
time, that the Russians, through Dr. Schoof's operations, intended to 
get such a foothold as to subvert his authority, and keep possession of 
the island. With his usual promptness, he, in consequence, ordered the 
governor, Kaumualii, at once to send them all away. This was effected 
without any disturbance, and all the Russians embarked in a brig, in 
which they proceeded to Halelea, to join other Russian vessels that 
were lying there, and all departed together. As any intention of taking 


forcible possession, or colonizing the island, was shortly afterwards 
denied, in the most positive manner, by the Russians, it is probable that 
the whole was the work of a vain and ambitious man, who had suddenly 
found himself elevated above his own sphere. That he either wanted 
the inclination or the courage to carry out his conceptions, if he had 
any, is manifest, from his immediate acquiescence to the order of the 
chief to quit the island. He is now known at the islands under the 
appellation of the Russian Doctor, although by birth a German. The 
Russian Stone Fort, as it is now called, is garrisoned by a guard of 

Waimea offers the best anchorage at this island, except in the months 
of January and February, when the trades are interrupted, and the 
wind blows strong from the southwest, and directly on shore. 

About a mile west of Waimea is the spot where the first English 
boat landed from Cook's expedition. The village of Waimea takes its 
name from the river, which rises in the mountains, and after a course 
of about fifteen miles, enters the sea there. It is navigable three-fourths 
of a mile from its mouth, in boats. The water is used for irrigating the 
valley, and might also be appropriated to manufacturing purposes, as 
there are many excellent mill-seats, and a steady supply of water for 
such purposes. 

The district in which Waimea is situated, is called Hanapepe, and 
extends to Napali on the west, and Hanapepe on the east. The former 
is about twenty miles distant from Waimea, and the latter six. At 
Napali a part of the central range of mountains meets the sea, and shuts 
in the plain near the sea-shore by a perpendicular precipice, between 
fifteen hundred and two thousand feet in height. 

The sandy plain that skirts the southwest side of the island is from 
one-fourth of a mile to a mile wide, and lies one hundred and fifty feet 
above the level of the sea ; the ground rises thence gradually to the 
summit of the mountains. This land is fit for little except the pastu- 
rage of goats, and presents a sunburnt appearance, being destitute of 
trees to the distance of eight or ten miles from the sea. The plain 
above spoken of, therefore, has little to recommend it. There is a strip 
of land just before the mountain ascent begins, which has an excellent 
soil, but for the want of water will probably long remain unproductive. 
On the low grounds the cocoa-nut tree thrives and bears abundant fruit, 
which is not the case with those on the other islands. 

The sea-coast bounding this district, is considered the best foi 
fishing, and the manufacture of salt might be extensively carried on. 

The drinking water, except that obtained from the river, is brackish. 

The valley of Hanapepe borders on the eastern part of this district: 


it has apparently been formed by volcanic action. At its entrance it is 
about half a mile wide, and decreases in width as it approaches the 
mountains. At its head is a beautiful waterfall, of which Mr. Agate 
succeeded in getting a correct drawing. 

The basaltic rocks and strata, as it will be seen, have been much 
reversed and upturned, and present their columnar structure very dis- 
tinctly to view, inclining in opposite directions. Although the volume 
of water in this cascade is not great, yet its form and situation add 
very much to its beauty: it falls into a quiet basin beneath, and the 
spray being driven by the wind upon each bank, affords nourishment 
to a variety of ferns which grow there. At its foot it forms a small 
river, which passes down through the centre of the valley. This 
whole scene is very striking, the banks forming a kind of amphitheatre 
rich in foliage, and with rills of water coursing down them in every 

The water of this stream is used by the natives to irrigate their taro- 
patches, and the soil of the valley is exceedingly fertile, producing 
sweet-potatoes, pumpkins, cabbages, beans, &c. The whole district is 
almost entirely supplied with food from the Hanapepe and Waimea 
valleys, which occasions the population for the most part to centre in 
these two places : throughout the remainder of the island, the huts and 
inhabitants are but sparsely scattered. 

The district of Hanapepe forms a mission station, and is under the 
care of the Rev. Samuel Whitney. He states the population in 1838 
to have been 3272. Mr. Whilney informed me, that for some years 
past he has kept a register of births and deaths, which shows that the 
latter is to the former as three to one. Other late authorities make the 
decrease in this district as eight to one for several years ; but a resident 
of such standing as Mr. Whitney must be reckoned the best authority. 

Mr. Whitney imputes this rapid decrease to former vicious habits, 
and both native and foreign authorities attribute the introduction of the 
venereal to the visit of Cook. This infection, brought to these islands 
by the first voyagers, may now be said to pervade the whole popula- 
tion, and has reduced the natives to a morbid sickly state; many of the 
women are incapable of child-bearing, and of the children who are born 
only a few live to come to maturity. 

Mr. Whitney assigns as another cause of the decrease in the popu- 
lation, the recklessness of human life, brought about by the despotic 
government under which they have been living, which has destroyed 
all motives to enterprise and industry, rendered precarious the blessings 
of life, and produced a corresponding recklessness as to the future. 
Much of the sickness is owing to over-eating and irregularity in meals: 


for the inhabitants fast sometimes for days together, and then gorman- 
dize to the greatest excess. 

There has been no case of infanticide, to Mr. Whitney's knowledge, 
during the last ten years, and he does not believe that the law interdict- 
ing sexual intercourse is promotive of this crime; for from all his 
inquiries, he has not been able to learn a single fact that will tend to 
warrant such a conclusion : on the contrary, he thinks that the law in 
question has rather acted to prevent its commission. 

Intoxication certainly forms no part of the cause of diseases, for Mr. 
Whitney boars testimony, that he has not known six cases of intoxica- 
tion within the last thirteen years. A spirit, however, is distilled from 
the ti, potatoes, watermelon, &c. 

The marriage law has had a good effect in this district, and will 
probably be the means of arresting the desolation that is now sweeping 
over the land. From thirty to forty marriages have taken place yearly. 
I have been thus particular in the population of this district, as it is 
generally reported to be that wherein the causes of decrease are most 
active. This cannot be owing to the climate, which is very similar to 
that of the leeward portions of the other islands, and the atmosphere is 
considered dry and healthy. Can it be owing to the fact, that the 
original virus of the disease was here first spread, and that it has con- 
tinued to be more virulent here than elsewhere ? 

As respects agriculture, there being no market for the sale of pro- 
duce, the supply seldom exceeds the wants of the district. Some 
attempts have, however, been made to produce cotton and the sugar- 
cane ; but, for want of encouragement, the produce has not yet been 
sufficient to clear the expenses. 

The improvement in the morals and instruction of the natives is very 
considerable. There are sixteen schools, all taught by native teachers, 
at the expense of the people. Two-thirds of the adult population read, 
and many of them can also write. The instruction is now confined to 
the youth and children, of whom about three hundred attend the schools 
regularly, and six hundred more occasionally. Much improvement has 
lately taken place in their habitations, and in the manufacturing of their 
wearing apparel, consisting of tapa, &c. 

There is one church, and one hundred and fifty-nine communicants : 
the number that attend worship in the morning is about a thousand, and 
in the afternoon about half that number. 

The island of Niihau was not visited by any one belonging to the 
squadron ; but it seems proper that in giving an account of the Hawaiian 
Islands, it should be spoken of. It is situated sixteen miles southwest 
of Kauai, arid is eighteen miles long by eight broad. There is an 


anchorage on its western side, but no harbour. Its eastern side is 
rocky and unfit for cultivation; the inhabitants therefore reside on its 
\vestern side, on the sea-shore, and are for the most part miserably 
poor. They cultivate, principally, yams and sweet-potatoes, the former 
of which succeed much better here than at any of the other islands. 
Water is very scarce, and they suffer occasionally from droughts, from 
which cause they are not able to raise the taro. This island is cele- 
brated for the beautiful mats manufactured by its women. It is also 
said to be a favourable place for the manufacture of salt. 

The number of inhabitants is one thousand ; and what is remark- 
able, although but a few miles removed from Waimea, on the island 
of Kauai, they show an increase, in the proportion of births over 
deaths, of eight to six. The climate cannot be very different, and 
both would be equally subject to drought, if it were not for the rivers 
and the irrigation dependent on them. On this island there are two 
hundred children, about one-third of whom read : these are divided 
into twelve schools, under native teachers. 

The district of Koloa on Kauai is twelve miles long by five broad. 
The face of the country is much broken into hills and extinguished 
craters. The land is good along its whole extent and half its breadth, 
and they have a sufficient quantity of rain to enable them to dispense 
with irrigation, of which but a small extent only would be susceptible. 

The climate is generally mild and equable, the range of the ther- 
mometer being usually from 60 to 80 F. ; but during the summer 
months it is occasionally found as high as 90, and in winter as low 
as 50. Sugar-cane grows in luxuriance, as well as cotton; the mul- 
berry, both Chinese and multicaulis, Indian corn, sweet-potatoes, yams, 
and taro also flourish. 

This has been the seat of the operations of some foreigners (Ameri- 
cans), and although, as has been before remarked, the natives derive 
but little pecuniary profit from their labour, yet the influence of a steady 
occupation has produced a striking improvement : they are clothed in 
foreign goods, and are generally found employed, and not lounging 
about as formerly. The comforts of their habitations have, however, 
as yet undergone but little change. 

The population in 1840, was one thousand three hundred and forty- 
eight. There is a church, with one hundred and twenty-six members, 
but no schools. The teachers set apart for this service were em- 
ployed by the chiefs, who frequently make use of them to keep tluir 
accounts, gather in their taxes, &c. The population is here again 
increasing, partly by immigration, whence it was difficult to ascertain 
its ratio. This district, it will be observed, lies immediately on the 


east of Hanapepe. Infanticide is not known, and drunkenness rarely 
if ever happens. There are no epidemics; asthma and ophthalmia 
are the diseases most prevalent: the latter is ascribed to the strong 
winds which blow constantly, and irritate the eye with the minute 
particles borne on them. 

There is no western route from Waimea to Halelea ; it is therefore 
necessary, in getting to Napali, to take a canoe and coast along the 
shore. As this would not have answered the purpose of our gentle- 
men's visit, they determined to take the path directly across the 
island, and were provided with two guides by the kindness of Mr. 
Whitney. They left his hospitable mansion the next morning, hav- 
ing noted the standing of the sympiesometer. Shortly after starting 
they were joined by a native, laden with provisions and cooking 
utensils, which the kindness of Mr. Whitney had provided, and sent 
for their use. They at once commenced a very gradual ascent over 
a barren surface to the half-way house, about twelve miles. At first 
they found nothing but withered grass, then a few ferns, where goats 
only could find pasturage, and, a mile or two before reaching the half- 
way house, some stunted acacias and sandalwood. The route was 
along the river the whole distance, though in a deep gorge beneath 
them. All the wood used at Waimea must be brought from this dis- 
tance. Their guides carried them about a mile beyond the half-way 
house, to a deserted hut, intending to stop there for the night; but our 
gentlemen found it so infested with fleas and vermin, that, although it 
rained, they returned, and passed the night comparatively free from 
these annoyances. The height of the half-way hut, as given by the 
sympiesometer, was three thousand four hundred feet. The sea was 
in sight the whole distance, and the coast was seen as far to the west 
as Napali. The country thus seen appeared similar to what they had 
passed over: it was furrowed in places by ravines, but yields no water 
except when rain falls abundantly upon the mountains. 

At half-past 5 p. M., the thermometer stood at 69, and the next 
morning at half-past six at 72. 

After sending the native back to Waimea who brought the comforts 
which Mr. Whitney's kindness had provided them with, they began 
their journey across the island, and entered into a very luxuriant 
and interesting botanical region, passing through several glades, 
which appeared well adapted for the cultivation of wheat and Irish 
potatoes (which have never been tried here). Large tracts were free 
from wood and level, on which was growing a sort of wild cabbage 
in great abundance. Wild hogs were evidently numerous, for many 
were started in the bush, and their rooting was to be seen along the 

VOL. iv. F2 9 


whole route. Wild dogs are said also to exist in bands. During the 
day, a storm of wind and rain came on. After passing this fertile 
region, they reached the table-land, which is a marshy district, filled 
with quagmires, exceedingly difficult to travel through, and in which 
they frequently sunk up to their knees in mud and water. This table- 
land was supposed to be upwards of twenty miles square. Here the 
natives were inclined to turn back; but, as they afterwards said, they 
considered themselves bound to proceed " on so unusual an occasion." 
Their fears arose from the report that natives had been lost in crossing 
by this path. At about 8 p. M., they reached the Pali or precipice, 
which is like that of Oahu, having a very abrupt, though not danger- 
ous, descent. Many interesting plants were gathered on this route, 
such as Acaena, Daphne, Pelargonium, Plantago, Drosera, with seve- 
ral interesting grasses. 

At the Pali they neglected to make observations with the sympieso- 
meter, but their impression was that the height was six or seven hun- 
dred feet more than the situation of the half-way house, which would 
give an altitude of about four thousand feet. Mr. Alexander, the mis- 
sionary at Halelea, informed them that he had made it that height by 

The descent of the Pali was found to be very steep and fatiguing ; 
but by slipping, tumbling, scrambling, and swinging from tree to tree, 
they reached the margin of the river Wainiha, at its foot. The stream 
was in this place about six hundred feet above tide. They were 
obliged to ford it; and in consequence of the heavy rain of the day 
before, it was so much swollen as to be almost impassable, the water 
reaching to their breasts. This, together with floundering through the 
taro-patches, as the darkness set in, made them consent to take up their 
lodgings in a native hut. In the morning they passed down the valley 
of Wainiha, which here forms a glen. The sides of the mountains, 
that rise abruptly about fifteen hundred feet on each side, are covered 
with vegetation in every variety of tint ; whilst the tutui tree (Candle- 
nut), the bread-fruit, orange, banana, plantations of Broussonetia papy- 
rifera, and taro-beds, together with pandanus trees, whose blossoms 
scent the air for miles, filled the valley with luxuriance. This prolific 
vegetation, with numerous cascades falling over the perpendicular sides 
of the rock, combine to form one of the most picturesque scenes on this 

About noon they reached Halelea, most of the distance to which 
was travelled along the sea-shore. On their way they crossed the Lu- 
mahae, a river similar to the Wainiha, and running parallel with it. 
The foot of the Pali is about five miles from the coast. 


The extensive sugar plantations, with a few neat cottages, with ve- 
randas and thatched roofs, and the rows of small cabins for the labour- 
ers, give the place the aspect of the tropical plantations of European 

Messrs. Peale and Rich, being furnished with horses and a guide by 
the kindness of Mr. Burnham, took the eastern route to Halelea 
through a fine level country, cultivated in sugar-cane and affording 
good pasturage. The natives here use the plough, and it was said at 
Koloa that there was an instance of tw r o of them having netted one 


hundred and forty dollars by their crop of sugar the last year. 

The principal trees were acacias (koa), pandanus, the tutui (Ale- 
urites). The latter is the largest and most conspicuous, from its 
white leaves resembling blossoms at a distance. The plain over 
which they passed was two hundred and fifty feet above the level 
of the sea. There are in it many gullies, formed by the small streams 
that run down from the mountains ; all of these are, however, blocked 
up by sand-bars, through which the water filtrates, forming quick- 
sands, which it is somewhat dangerous to pass over. The immediate 
shore along this route is rocky and susceptible of little cultivation, 
except near the mouths of the rivers, where taro-patches are to be 

At noon they reached Lihui, a settlement lately undertaken by the 
Rev. Mr. Lafon, for the purpose of inducing the natives to remove 
from the sea-coast, thus abandoning their poor lands to cultivate the 
rich plains above. Mr. Lafon has the charge of the mission district 
lying between those of Koloa and Waioli. This district was a short 
time ago formed out of the other two. 

The principal village is Nawiliwili, ten miles east of Koloa. This 
district contains about forty square miles, being twenty miles long by 
two broad. The soil is rich : it produces sugar-cane, taro, sweet-pota- 
toes, beans, &c. The only market is that of Koloa. The cane suffers 
somewhat from the high winds on the plains. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lafon are very industrious with their large school, to 
which some of the children come a distance of five miles. Our gen- 
tlemen were much pleased with what they saw, and w T ere satisfied that 
good would be effected by their manner of treating the natives. 

The temperature of Lihui has much the same range as that of Koloa, 
and the climate is pleasant: the trade-winds sweep over it uninter- 
ruptedly, and sufficient rain falls to keep the vegetation green through- 
out the year. 

As yet there is little appearance of increase in industry, or im- 
provement in the dwellings of the natives. There are no more than 


about seventy pupils in this district, who arc taught by natives. There 
are two houses of worship, and about forty communicants. No de- 
crease is apparent in the population within a few years. 

On the fertile places, although the pasturage was good, yet no cattle 
were to be seen. 

From Lihui, they pursued their way to Hanawale, which is a small 
fishing village at the mouth of a little stream. The country on this 
route was uninteresting, until they reached VVailua, the residence of 
Deborah, a chief woman of the islands, readily known as such from 
her enormous size, and the cast of her countenance. She has a person 
living with her called Olivia Chapin, who speaks English, and has 
learned how to extort money. Deborah has about forty men in her 
district; but they were absent, being employed in trie mountains cut- 
ting timber to pay the tax to the king. 

Near Deborah's residence are extensive fish-ponds belonging to her, 
which have been made with great labour: they are of different degrees 
of saltness. The fish are taken from the sea when young and put into 
the saltest pond ; as they grow larger, they are removed into one less 
salt, and are finally fattened in fresh water. While our gentlemen 
were there, Deborah received young fish in payment of the poll-tax, 
which were immediately transferred to her ponds. 

Wailua, (two waters,) was formerly a place of some importance. 
It is situated on a small stream of the same name, in a barren, sandy 

Deborah furnished them with a double canoe, to carry them up the 
river to visit the falls. Taking the western branch, they ascended it 
for two and a half miles. 

There are many good taro-patches and sugar plantations on its 
banks. They landed in what appeared to have been an old crater, in 
form of a basin, with high perpendicular banks. The low grounds 
along the river are extremely fertile, producing bread-fruit, sugar-cane, 
oranges, &c. The latter, however, are suffering from the blight, and 
some of the trees were covered with a black smut, produced by a 
species of aphis. 

In ascending, an insulated black rock is passed, known as the 
"Muu," which has been detached from a high rocky bluff, that is 
remarkable for the dikes visible in it. 

They afterwards ascended the bank, two hundred feet high, and 
crossed about half a mile to the falls, over a plain covered with grass 
and wild sugar-cane. The stream was very small, running sluggishly, 
and passed over a precipice of barren rocks, one hundred and sixty 
feet in height. Although there is neither tree nor shrub along the 


stream above the fall, the valley beneath is filled with them ; the 
most conspicuous was the pandanus. The whole scene is picturesque. 
Below, the falls present a very curious appearance, the wind con- 
tinually breaking and dispersing the water in heavy showers over a 
great variety of ferns, which are growing in the crevices of the rocks. 
The volume of water does not exceed ten hogsheads a minute. In the 
basin beneath were found many fine specimens of Neritina granulata, 
and two other species were found further down the stream, about 
four feet below the surface : these were procured by diving. Mr. 
Rich obtained specimens of the plants. Mr. Peale found but few 
birds; ducks were abundant on the river's banks, some of which 
were killed. Rushes were growing along the banks from eight to ten 
feet in length, four or five feet under the water; besides these, the 
banks were covered with hibiscus and ricinus (castor-oil trees), grow- 
ing wild. 

Returning to Deborah's, where they remained for the night, they 
met Messrs. Dana and Agate. Deborah entertained them in "white 
style," at a table set with knives, forks, &c., arid gave them tea and 
sugar. Their bed was native, and composed of a platform of about 
twelve feet square, covered with mats. This proved comfortable, with 
tapa as a covering in lieu of linen. 

The next morning, they started for Waioli and Halelea. The 
country on the way is of the same character as that already seen. 
They passed the small villages of Kupau, Kealia, Anehola, Mowaa, 
and Kauharaki, situated at the mouths of the mountain streams, which 
were closed with similar sand-bars to those already described. These 
bars afforded places to cross at, though requiring great precaution 
when on horseback. The streams above the bars were in most cases 
deep, wide, and navigable a few miles for canoes. Besides the sugar- 
cane, taro, &c., some good fields of rice were seen. The country 
may be called open ; it is covered with grass forming excellent 
pasture-grounds, and abounds in plover and turnstones, scattered in 
small flocks. 

On their way they passed through a beautiful grove of tutui-nut 
trees, in which the Rev. Mr. Alexander is in the habit of preaching 
to the natives. These trees are large, and form a delightful shade. 
There are few places in the open air so well calculated to hold divine 
service in, and it is well fitted to create feelings of religion. The 
view, by Mr. Agate, will give a good idea of it. 

These nut-trees grow with great luxuriance on this island ; and an 
excellent oil is expressed from the nut, which already forms an 
export from these islands. We heard here, that at New York, it 


was pronounced superior lo linseed-oil for painting. There is a manu- 
factory of it at Honolulu ; but I understood that it dried with dilHculty. 
It is said to bring one dollar per gallon on the coast of South America. 
The native candle is made of these nuts strung upon a straw ; they are 
likewise roasted and eaten. 

Before reaching Waioli, they passed through a forest of pandanus 
trees. Waioli is a mission station, the residence of the Rev. Mr. 
Alexander, by whom they were very kindly received. This district is 
called Halclea. Waioli is on the north side of Kauai. The plain on 
which it is situated is only six or eight feet above the level of the sea, 
and lies between the Halelea and Waioli rivers. Though of small 
extent, it is one of the most fertile spots of which these islands can 

The Halelea district comprises a large proportion of arable land : it 
extends to the distance of twenty miles to the eastward of Waioli; 
the portion, however, which lies to the westward is of a totally 
different description, being broken up into precipices and ravines, 
affording no inducements to the agriculturist, and having very few 
spots susceptible of cultivation; its extent is about fifteen miles. The 
eastern portion is watered by at least twenty streams ; many of these 
are large enough to be termed rivers, and might be employed to turn 
machinery. It is elevated from three to eight hundred feet above the 
sea, and comprises about fifty thousand acres of land, capable of pro- 
ducing sugar-cane, cotton, indigo, coffee, corn, beans, the mulberry, 
and vegetables in every variety. It now produces taro, sweet-potatoes, 
yams, bread-fruit, bananas, plantains, squashes, melons, beans, Indian 
corn, and cocoa-nuts. Sugar-cane grows spontaneously. Mulberry 
trees flourish, of which there are four kinds, the Chinese, the multi- 
caulis, the white, and the black : the latter variety has a small leaf. 
The vegetation is extremely luxuriant from the frequent rains. The 
sugar-cane, and mulberry, both Chinese and multicaulis, are the staple 
articles of culture. The mulberry has here a most rapid growth, and 
being sheltered from the strong winds, it succeeds well. Some of the 
leaves of the multicaulis are of the enormous size of fifteen inches in 
length by twelve in breadth. Mr. Titcomb has a large plantation of 
both kinds, and an extensive cocoonery in operation. He has succeeded 
in making silk of excellent quality, both for the loom and sewing. He 
gives his personal attention to this business, and began in a small way. 
I understood that he had succeeded in it. His greatest difficulty is the 
unsteady labour of the natives, and he also experiences, at times, diffi- 
culty in preserving the worms. The silk is procured from the American 
worm and a cross-breed between the Chinese and American. The 


yield of the latter is fine and of a pale yellow or orange silk ; of the 
former the colour is white, and much coarser. 

Indigo is produced in the valley of Halelea, and grows well. Mr. 
Alexander had some growing, but his plants, from being allowed to get 
too high, have become woody and scraggy, and produce very indifferent 
foliage. The manufacture of indigo is not understood in the Sandwich 
Islands, although the plant flourishes so well there that it has run wild, 
and with proper knowledge and attention, in the opinion of our bota- 
nists, might produce a profitable crop. 

The tutui-nut tree (Aleurites triloba) is very abundant, several thou- 
sand acres being covered with forests of it. The island abounds in 
very many excellent woods for the cabinet-maker, joiner, and ship- 
builder ; of which I received a large number of specimens, presented to 
the Expedition by Mr. Ladd, of Oahu, who was kind enough to order 
the collection to be made by his partner at Koloa. 

The rivers, as well as sea, abound in excellent fish, and afford a 
plentiful harvest to the fisherman. 

Goats, hogs, and poultry of all kinds are raised, but there is no 
market nearer than Koloa or Oahu for their sale; these, whenever 
possible, are resorted to. 

The climate, as to temperature, is about three degrees cooler than 
the other side of the island: the range of the thermometer, from 
January to May, was from 50 to 82; sometimes it has been known 
to fall as low as 52, and rise as high as 87. The inhabitants never 
suffer from heat, and the rains are so frequent as to clothe the country 
in perpetual green. It rains nearly nine months in the year, and, 
from the rainbows formed by these passing showers, it has obtained 
its name, which signifies the land or place of rainbows, Halelea. A 
few days of dry weather are quite unusual. During three months, 
included in the above nine, rain fell on fifty-two days ; fourteen were 
cloudy. During the remaining twenty-four the weather was clear, but 
it rained occasionally at night. 

Our gentlemen made several excursions back of Halelea with Mr. 
Alexander, and endeavoured to ascend the peaks; but the rain pre- 
vented their doing so. They obtained many interesting specimens of 
plants and birds, among the former of which were a number of ferns. 

On the 1st of November they attended Mr. Alexander's church. 
The congregation was composed of about four hundred. They were 
all much struck with the dress of the native women, its unusual neat- 
ness and becoming appearance. It seemed remarkable that so many 
of them should be clothed in foreign manufacture, and that apparently 


of an expensive kind ; but on a closer examination, the dresses proved 
to be tapas, printed in imitation of merino shawls, ribands, &c. 

The tender making her appearance in the harbour, our gentlemen 
received notice to repair on board in the evening. Mr. Knox had cir- 
cumnavigated the island, and made surveys of its small harbours : 
there are none of these fit for a vessel to ride in; that of Waimea, as 
I said before, is the safest, but Halelea is frequently used ; and although 
much exposed to the winds, it has more pretension to the name of a 
harbour, than the rest. It is remarkable from having been the place 
where the pride of Salem, " Cleopatra's Barge," was wrecked. The 
west coast of the island was found destitute of harbours or anchorage, 
having a perpendicular cliff rising from the sea for the greatest part of 
the distance. 

The Halelea river is navigable for canoes about three miles ; it is 
from one to two hundred feet wide, has but little current, and is slightly 
affected by the tide near its mouth. 

The highest point on the island, which is estimated at six thousand 
feet is called Wailioli. Mr. Alexander stated, that it had been ascended 
on its eastern side from Waioli. I regretted afterwards I had not de- 
spatched officers to ascend it, but our naval duties were so pressing 
upon all, that I found it impossible to spare any one at the time I 
ordered the party to Kauai. I also partly indulged the hope, that those 
who were to cross over the centre of the island, would have been led 
near it, and thus tempted to make the ascent. From the information 
I have received, it is supposed to have a crater on its summit, like 
many of the other high mountains in the group. It is said, that when 
the weather is clear, the natives ascend it for the purpose of getting a 
view of Oahu, one hundred miles distant. 

The population of this district has been for several years decreasing, 
and Mr. Alexander estimates the decrease to be one-hundredth annually 
for the last nine years. In 1837, the population was 3024; the proportion 
of the sexes was males, 1609 ; females, 1415. In 1840, population, 
2935 males, 1563; females, 1372. 

The census taken in 1840, is no doubt much more accurate than any 
heretofore made, and as far as the ability of the king's officers go, it 
may be depended upon. Mr. Alexander is inclined to impute the de- 
crease to former licentiousness, as well as to the barrenness of the 
women. Those who have children, lose them at a premature age, and 
abortion is produced sometimes, from fear of the pains of parturition. 
Mr. Alexander has known of only five cases of the latter description 
within six years, the time of his residence here ; so that this latter 


cause can have but little influence. This is true also as regards in- 
temperance, for he bears testimony to his having never seen a native 
intoxicated on Kauai. The touching of a French whale-ship at 
Waimea and landing a quantity of wine and brandy, has, he thinks, re- 
vived their propensities of fifteen or twenty years past ; and when the 
liquors were exhausted, they were found resorting to a method of 
distillation of their own, or subjecting various fruits to the process of 
fermentation until they would produce intoxicating effects. All this 
has been promptly arrested by the activity of the judges and their 

In this district comparatively few die of acute diseases. Dropsies 
are among the most frequent ; palsies and diseases of the lungs also 
occur ; syphilis is rare, but gonorrhoea prevails extensively. 

The climate is considered very salubrious. Immoderate eating and 
fasting, living in damp huts, long exposure in the water, and sleeping 
on the ground, are all assigned as causes for the many sick and weak 
among the natives. 

The schools in this district have, as elsewhere, undergone an entire 
revolution. Formerly, all the adult population were included among 
the pupils ; now they consist only of children, and within two years 
past these have greatly fallen off in numbers as much indeed as one 
half. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, with some native teachers, have charge 
of the school. Mr. Alexander thinks, that the native children are not 
inferior to those of other lands in point of intellect. These schools, 
unlike those of Tahiti, are kept open five days in the week, and six 
hours each day. Besides the school at Wailua, there are several others 
at different places. The teachers are relieved from all government 
taxation, except the poll-tax, and receive whatever the congrega- 
tion contribute at the monthly meetings, which Mr. Alexander com- 
putes at about forty dollars for the last seven months ; this sum di- 
vided among eight teachers, does not give each of them one dollar a 
month ! 

The church was established at this station in 1834, by five persons 
from the church at Waimea, and five others ; these received an exami- 
nation. The church now consists of eighty members. Three persons 
have been excommunicated, and four have died. The congregation on 
the Sabbath amounts to from six to eight hundred. 

Large quantities of beans were raised on this island, in hopes of 
supplying the whalers with them ; but, after they had been raised and 
carried to Oahu, they discovered that those ships did not use them. 
This is one instance, among many, of the want of practical knowledge 
on these islands. 

VOL. IV. G 10 


On the arrival of the tender, Mr. Knox received a present of fine 
fresh beef from the farm of Mr. Charlton, H. B. M. consul. The cattle 
are thought to be finer here than on any of the other islands, and the 
price for them is much more reasonable. Mr. Charlton has upwards 
of one hundred head. 

At 10 p. M. the tender, having received the party on board, took 
advantage of the land-breeze and stood for Oahu. 

In quitting Kauai, I must return my own thanks, as well as those of 
the gentlemen of the squadron who were the recipients of the attentions 
and hospitality of our countrymen and other residents on Kauai ; and 
I also tender my sincere acknowledgments for the information derived 
and the assistance rendered by them. 

On the 3d, the tender reached Rawailoa, in Waialua district, and 
the naturalists were landed on the western side of Oahu. 

The coast here forms a small bay, and has a dreary aspect on first 
landing. The soil is sandy and poor ; the huts are in ruins, and the 
inhabitants present a miserable, squalid appearance. A short distance 
from the coast an agreeable change is met with, in extensive taro- 
patches, fish-ponds, and fine fields of sugar-cane. The habitations in 
this part, are neat and comfortable, and the natives cheerful and clean. 

It was near this place that Mr. Gooch, who accompanied Vancouver, 
was killed by the natives. Our gentlemen were kindly welcomed by 
Messrs. Emerson and Locke, the former having charge of the station, 
and the latter of a school on the Peztalozzian system. There are only 
fourteen boys in the school : they look well, and are neatly clothed ; 
but it is not thought to be doing well, for the natives do not like the 
plan of having their children taken entirely from their own control ; yet 
this is essential to success. The boys all live within Mr. Locke's 
enclosure, and are seldom out of his sight. Agriculture is their prin- 
cipal employment, and some of them were seen to yoke oxen and 
manage the plough with adroitness. They are also taught reading, 
writing, and arithmetic, for which they evince great fondness. Mr. 
Locke is enthusiastic in his undertaking, and well deserves success, 
though I cannot but view the experiment as very doubtful.* 

Here the party again divided, to explore the island of Oahu, on their 
way to Honolulu. The district of Waialua stretches from the most 
westerly cape, called Kaena, to Waimea, in the district of Koolaulo, 
on the northeast, and to Waianae on the southwest, a distance along 

* Since leaving the island, I have learned that Mr. Locke had, in farther experinie- ts, 
satisfied all that his success was quite equal to his anticipations ; and I regretted, in late 
advices, to learn of his death, after a few days' illness, being thus cut off in the full tide of 
his usefulness. 


the coast of above twenty miles. Within this district are a few bays 
for vessels not exceeding one hundred and fifty tons burden ; the best 
of these is Rawailoa. Those to the northeast are Waimea, Haula, 
Kakaua, Moluilui, and Makua. Like all the rest of the places, they are 
dependent on Honolulu, which is thirty miles distant, for a market. A 
good road might very easily be constructed, and very nearly level, on 
the plain that lies between the two high mountain ranges which traverse 
the island from east to west. One of these ranges is called Konahaunui, 
the other Kaala ; the former occupies the eastern end of the island, the 
latter the western. Both are basaltic. It is remarked of these two 
ranges, that the soil and growth of the plants are dissimilar; for 
instance, the kauwila, the wiliwili, the haw, and the uhiuhi are found on 
the Kaala, and are either not found, or only in a dwarfish state, on the 
Konahaunui; whilst the acacia (koa), and the lehua, do not exist on 
the former, though growing luxuriantly on the latter. 

Waialua lies at the foot of the Konahaunui range, on its western 
slope, while the northern slope of Kaala nearly reaches it. Here begins 
the plain before mentioned, which extends to Ewa, a distance of about 
twenty miles. Part of the Waialua district is cultivated by irrigation, 
and produces abundantly. Five considerable streams water it from 
the Konahaunui range, passing down the fertile valleys. The largest 
of these is quite sufficient to supply motive power the whole year round. 
On the banks of the Ewa are many thousand acres of land wholly un- 
occupied, which are capable of growing cotton, sugar-cane, indigo, the 
mulberry, &c., to any extent. From sources that are to be depended 
upon, I was informed that there are upwards of thirty square miles in 
the Waialua district that can be cultivated without irrigation. 

The people are as indolent as usual, having but few wants, and those 
easily supplied ; there is now, however, some hope of their improve- 
ment, because the conveniences of civilized life are gradually being 
introduced, the desire of obtaining which gives them an incentive to 
exertion. They cannot yet be induced to change their ancient dwell- 
ings for better habitations, and still adhere with pertinacity to their 
thatched grass huts, without floors or windows, and destitute of venti- 
lation : these dwellings may with truth be termed, miserable hovels. 

The mountain range of Konahaunui runs close to the north shore 
of the island, leaving only a narrow strip of land, varying from a half 
to two miles in width, and twenty miles in length : this is called the 
Koolaulo district. It is only a few feet above the level of the sea, and 
has a gradual ascent to the foot of the precipices. The mountain spurs 
from the main chain are numerous : some of these are of great length, 
and enclose valleys having a very fertile soil. The land on the imme- 



diate coast is also good, and receives an abundance of rain for agricul- 
tural purposes. There are here also several small streams, sufficiently 
well supplied with water to drive the machinery for sugar-mills. 

The scenery of this district is surpassed by that of few places in 
beauty, boldness, and variety ; stupendous precipices rising some two 
or three thousand feet, with small streams rushing over and down 
their sides, resembling so many strings of silver girdling them, and 
here and there lost among the light and airy foliage. To whichever 
side the traveller turns himself, he is sure to find something to interest 
and attract his attention. The Kaluamei waterfall is a very remarka- 
ble spot, lying deep in the mountain, whither from appearance it has 
worn its way to the depth of half a mile back. On passing up the bed 
of the stream, the banks rise almost perpendicularly, and are but a few 
yards asunder when the foot of the fall is reached ; here the sun pene- 
trates only for an hour at midday. This is a fit place for the legends 
of the natives, and it is understood that it was intimately connected 
with their mythology. This part of the island has now few inhabitants, 
but from the appearance of the extensive taro-grounds, it is believed to 
have been formerly densely populated. 

The Koolaulo flat continues further, passing by Kaneohe to the east 
end of the island, where the arable land decreases very much in 

The climate of Waialua, as I am informed by the Rev. Mr. Emer- 
son, is rather cooler than that of Honolulu, and there is no annoyance 
from dust. The thermometer ranges from 75 to 80, and has not 
fallen below 55 for several years, and rarely below 60. The climate 
is usually looked upon as healthy, except during the prevalence of the 
northwest wind, which is found to affect injuriously those having pul- 
monary complaints. 

As to industry, the habits of the people are improving, which is dis- 
cernible in their comparative willingness to labour for hire, and their 
improvement in dress. Eight years before our visit, there were but 
two persons who appeared at church in shirts or pantaloons: more 
than one-half now wear these garments, and the women instead of 
tapa for the most part wear cloth. Formerly a man laboured with 
great reluctance later than two or three o'clock in the afternoon, and 
rarely worked later for the chiefs or themselves ; at the time of our 
visit they would do a full day's work, and this too without superinten- 
dence. A little improvement is also manifested in their dwellings, a 
few of which have been constructed of adobes, and whitewashed ; but 
they for the most part pertinaciously adhere to the materials and mode 
of building of their ancestors. Some, however, have enlarged their 


doors, as well as the size of the houses ; have paid some regard to 
ventilation, and improved the quality of their sleeping-mats. 

The slow progress of improvement in this district, is thought to have 
been owing to the uncertain tenure of property; but as the new con- 
stitution and laws provide for this, it will no longer be an impediment. 

The schools in this district number eleven, which are taught by 
native teachers, under the superintendence of the missionaries. The 
number of children who attend them averages about four hundred, 
which is about half the number in the district. The scholars are be- 
tween four and sixteen years of age. Messrs. Emerson and Locke 
are both of opinion, that the Hawaiian children are not inferior in 
intellect or in aptitude for handicraft to other children having equal 

There is one church in the district, on whose first establishment, 
seven years previous to our visit, it had five hundred and eighty-three 
communicants ; of these eight have died, eighteen were dismissed to 
join other churches, fifty-nine expelled for unchristian conduct, and 
four hundred and ninety-eight are now connected with the church. 
Most of the latter have a good degree of conscience, and some sense 
of Christian obligation, whilst others, as might be expected, are appa- 
rently little more than in name Christians. 

From 1832 to 1839, there were four hundred and forty-five mar- 
riages. There has been a register of the births and deaths kept for a 
part of the time, which would go to show that the former was to the 
latter as one to two. Some particular years seem to have varied 
somewhat from this : in Waialua, forty-five births to one hundred 
and thirty-six deaths. In another place the proportions were as 
seven to seventeen ; and in a third, as two to eight, without any pre 
vailing disease. In 1836, at Waialua, the births were thirty-four, the 
deaths ninety ; in 1839, fifty-six to one hundred and eighty-five. 

The population in 1832, at Waialua, was 2,640; in 1836, 2,415; 
decrease in four years, 225. 

From the great differences between the several places, without the 
existence of any epidemic, one is led to believe that mistakes may 
have been made in the register ; the general belief, however, is, that 
the numbers that will represent the decrease most accurately, are the 

The causes of decrease in this district are supposed to be sterility 
and abortion ; the latter is quite common, and instances are known 
where women have had six or seven, and sometimes as many as ten, 
in the same number of years, and no living children. 

Infanticide has been practised to some extent, down to 1840. From 



facts derived from the natives, it would appear that both personal and 
mutual abuse at an early period of life between the sexes, holds a 
prominent place among the causes of this decrease. 

The law of marriage it is thought will have a wholesome influence. 
Mr. Emerson has never heard of more than one instance where the 
fear of punishment for the breach of the laws of chastity has produced 
infanticide. The laws which formerly existed, requiring parents to 
pay taxes for children over ten years of age, may have had that ten- 
dency. It is ascertained that the repeal of this law, and the enactment 
of the one now existing, which offers a premium for large families of 
legitimate children, have induced many to take care of their offspring. 
The law which compels unmarried women found to be enceinte to work 
on the roads, may perhaps have had a tendency to cause the commis- 
sion of this crime. 

Intemperance has again made its appearance within a year in this 
district, and the introduction of rum, brandy, &c., under the French 
treaty, has had its effect upon the common people ; for although these 
liquors are too dear for them to purchase, they will follow the fashion, 
and in lieu of spirits use ava, or some a fermented drink made of pota- 
toes, water-melons, or the ti : many bad consequences are the inevitable 

Messrs. Rich and Brackenridge, accompanied by Mr. Emerson, 
made an excursion to reach the top of the Kaala range of mountains. 
They were unfortunate in the selected day; for shortly after they 
reached the mountain, it began to rain, which rendered climbing on 
the narrow ridge very difficult. This was in some places not more 
than two feet wide, about fifteen hundred feet high, almost perpendicu- 
lar, and extremely dangerous from its becoming slippery with the wet. 
The ridge became in a short time so narrow, that they were compelled 
to go astride and hitch themselves along, until, as they thought, they 
had attained the altitude of two thousand five hundred feet, when they 
deemed it impossible to reach the top, and concluded to retrace their 
steps. As they returned, they collected many interesting plants ; 
among them a shrubby Viola, about two feet high, with a slightly 
fragrant white flower; Exocarpus cupressiformis, the same as the 
native cherry of New South Wales ; and near the base of the moun- 
tain, forests of Erythrina monosperma (of Hooker), the wood of which 
was used by the natives for making out-riggers for their canoes. 

The next day they proceeded on their way to Honolulu, across the 
plain between the two ranges of mountains. This plain, in the rainy 
season, affords abundance of food for cattle in three or four kinds of 
grasses, and is, as I have before remarked, susceptible of extensive 


cultivation by irrigation from the several streams that traverse it. 
The largest of the streams is the Ewa. Scraggy bushes of sandal- 
wood and other shrubs are now scattered over a soil fit for the culti- 
vation of sugar-cane and indigo. 

At Ewa they were kindly received by the Reverend Mr. Bishop 
and lady, who have charge of the station. The district of Ewa com- 
mences about seven miles to the west of Honolulu, and extends twenty 
miles along the south shore, or from the hill in the vicinity of the salt 
lake to beyond Laeloa or Barber's Point. There are no chiefs or 
any persons of distinction residing in the district ; the people are 
labourers or Kanakas, and the landholders reside near the king at 
Lahaina, or at Honolulu. The taxes and occasional levies without any 
outlay have hitherto kept them poor. 

In this district is a large inlet of the sea, into which the river Ewa 
empties; at the entrance of this inlet is the village of Laeloa: the 
whole is known by the name of Pearl River or harbour, from the cir- 
cumstance that the pearl oyster is found here ; and it is the only place 
in these islands where it occurs. 

The inlet has somewhat the appearance of a lagoon that has been 
partly filled up by alluvial deposits. At the request of the king, we 
made a survey of it: the depth of water at its mouth was found to 
be only fifteen feet; but after passing this coral bar, which is four 
hundred feet wide, the depth of water becomes ample for large ships, 
and the basin is sufficiently extensive to accommodate any number of 
vessels. If the water upon the bar should be deepened, which I doubt 
not can be effected, it would afford the best and most capacious har- 
bour in the Pacific. As yet there is no necessity for such an operation, 
for the port of Honolulu is sufficient for all the present wants of the 
islands, and the trade that frequents them. 

Pearl-River Harbour affords an abundant supply of fine fish. Two 
species of clams are procured here, called by the natives okupe and 
olepe. Mr. Drayton, who went to Pearl River for the purpose of 
examining its shores, and obtaining shells, reported that he found a 
large bed of fossil oyster-shells, extending into the bank in a bed from 
one to four feet wide, and half a mile in length : they were found 
cemented together with soft limestone and a reddish sand, and were so 
numerous that there was scarcely enough of the cement between to 
hold them together. The dredging was unsuccessful, a small spotted 
venus being the only shell that was obtained, although it was the 
general belief, among both the foreign and native inhabitants, that it 
would have produced an abundant reward for the trouble. 

In Mrs. Bishop's garden was seen the Agati grandiflora, (which is a 


beautiful native plant, producing very large flowers in clusters, of a 
deep orange, with a bright scarlet tint,) in full flower. Seeds of this 
plant were obtained, and Mr. Brackenridge has succeeded in raising 
plants of it in the conservatory at Washington. It will prove a valu- 
able and highly ornamental addition to our green-houses. 

This district, unlike others of the island, is watered by copious and 
excellent springs, that gush out at the foot of the mountains. From 
these run streams sufficient for working sugar-mills. In consequence 
of this supply, the district never suffers from drought, and the taro- 
patches are well supplied with water by the same means. 

The soil on the sides of the hills is a hard red clay, deemed useless 
except for pasturage. Here and there in the valleys passing through 
these hills and in the low grounds, is found a soil capable of producing 
all the varieties of tropical vegetation. 

There is every indication that an elevation of the island has taken 
place : the flat land is now fifty or sixty feet above the level of the 
ocean, and the upper rock has the appearance of calcareous sandstone. 
The latter lies on a bed of lava, part of which is above, but a greater 
portion below the ocean level. There are above this rock and on the 
plain behind some horizontal beds of sea-worn pebbles. It seems 
remarkable, however, that although this upper rock will effervesce 
with acids, yet all attempts that have been made to convert it into 
lime have failed. It has been put into the same kiln with the present 
reef coral, and while the latter produced good lime, the former came 
out unchanged, a pretty conclusive proof that it is not coral rock, as 
it appeared to be. As this rock will be treated of in the Geological 
Report, I shall refer the reader to it for further information. 

At Ewa, Mr. Bishop has a large congregation. The village com- 
prises about fifty houses, and the country around is dotted with them. 
The village presents an appearance of health and cleanliness, clearly 
indicating the influence Mr. Bishop has exerted over his flock, in 
managing which he is much aided by his lady. 

The church is a large adobe building, situated on the top of a small 
hill, and will accommodate a great number of persons. Mr. Bishop 
sometimes preaches to two thousand persons. 

The natives have made some advance in the arts of civilized life ; 
there is a sugar-mill which, in the season, makes two hundred pounds 
of sugar a day. They have been taught, and many of them are now 
able to make their own clothes, after the European pattern. There is 
a native blacksmith and several native carpenters and masons, who 
are able to work well. 

In 1840, the church contained nine hundred members, seven hundred 


and sixty of whom belonged to Ewa, the remainder to Waianae; but 
the Catholics have now established themselves at both these places, and 
it is understood are drawing off many from their attendance on Mr. 
Bishop's church. Schools are established, of which there are now 
three for children under teachers from Lahainaluna. Mr. Bishop 
informed me that there was great difficulty in procuring suitable 
teachers, and a still greater difficulty in raising funds for their support. 
The teachers complain much of their inability to secure a regular 
attendance from their scholars, which is thought to result from a want 
of parental authority at home, and their leaving it optional with the 
children to attend school or not. 

This district contained in 1840 two thousand seven hundred and 
ninety-two inhabitants, and there is no satisfactory evidence of a 
decrease, although many speak of it as being great; but the latter 
opinion is formed from the census of 1836, which was on many 
accounts inaccurate, and ought not to be taken as authority on which 
to found such a statement. 

This is the best part of the island of Oahu for raising cattle and 
sheep, which are seen here in greater numbers than elsewhere. 

Dr. Pickering and Mr. Brackenridge made a tour to Waianae, for 
the purpose of examining more particularly the Kaala Mountains for 
plants. Waianae lies on the southwest side of the range, and on the 
sea-shore under it. After stopping a night at Ewa, they took a middle 
route, and passing through a gap in the mountain, fifteen hundred 
feet in elevation, reached Waianae in the afternoon, a distance of six- 
teen miles. Here they were kindly welcomed by the chief, who acts 
in the capacity of ruler, preacher, and schoolmaster; he is, likewise, a 
fisherman, and a manufacturer of wooden bowls, in which he showed 
himself quite expert. 

The natives are much occupied in catching and drying fish, which 
is made a profitable business, by taking them to Oahu, where they 
command a ready sale. 

The population is about fifteen hundred, one thousand of whom 
belonged to the church under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. 
Bishop ; but since the establishment of the Catholics, one half have 
joined in their mode of worship. 

While at Waianae, they extended their walks in different directions, 
along the beach, at the foot and sides of the mountains, meeting with 
several very interesting plants : at the base of the mountains several 
half deciduous trees, and bushes of sandalwood (Santalum freycinetia- 
rum). It was observed that the stems of the trees and plants were 

VOL. iv. 11 


very succulent, which enables them to withstand the severity of the 
droughts ; the quantity of rain that falls here being very small. 

They endeavoured to make an ascent on one of the ridges, but 
found themselves obliged to give it up, when they had reached half 
the altitude of the mountain. 

Travelling here, they witnessed an economy of time that would 
have been remarkable in any country. At a house, one of the natives 
who accompanied them procured a chicken and some hot stones from 
a fire ; he then tied them up together, and carried them along : when 
they arrived at the next stopping-place, the chicken was produced 
ready cooked ! 

On the plain behind the village, they found the Agati grandiflora 
growing in a wild state ; the flowers were smaller and of a darker 
orange than those seen cultivated. 

They left Waianae after being two days with the chief, who 
charged them four dollars for their lodging, which will give some 
idea of native prices. Passing the mountain range by a different 
route, their collections of plants were but little increased. A new 
species of Morus, a singular plant belonging to the Violacea? family, 
a Dracsena of robust growth, and a few ferns, were all that they 

Mauna Kaala has the appearance of being a flat-topped mountain ; 
but this is not the case, the evenness of the ridge alone giving it that 

The salt lake, so much spoken of, was visited many times ; it has 
excited a great deal of curiosity, being supposed to be fathomless, and 
to ebb and flow with the tide. 

I landed with my friend, Dr. Judd, of the mission, near the fool of 
the hills which enclose the salt lake, and levelled from low-water 
mark upwards, over the hill, and down to the lake. The result gave 
one hundred and five feet rising, and one hundred and three feet 
falling, which proves it to be on the same level as half-tide. Dr. 
Judd engaged some natives to carry over a canoe to the lake, in 
which we embarked, well provided with long sounding-lines, to ascer- 
tain its reputed great depth; after much search, no fathomless hole 
was to be found, and no greater depth than eighteen inches ! To find 
out if it ebbed and flowed was the next step ; for this purpose, sticks 
were placed on the shore, which is so shelving that a small perpen- 
dicular rise and fall would be quite evident. There was no ti le 
perceived after several hours' watching. A little rise above the tide- 
sticks took place, but nothing beyond what would be occasioned by 


the wind, which had sprung up, blowing the water to the lee side. 
Large quantities of salt were seen, piled in heaps on the hills to allow 
it to drain : this is the property of the king, and yields him a con- 
siderable annual income. It is considered as the best for salting pro- 
visions, and therefore commands a higher price than other salt manu- 
factured on the island ; it is also used as table-salt at Honolulu. In 
the lake it is found crystallized, and crystals are readily formed on 
branches of trees that have been put into the water. 

The deposit in the lake is mud of a blue-black colour, and exceed- 
ingly tenacious, almost as much so as an unctuous clay. 

Some small particles of salt were found on the hill-side, adjacent to 
the lake, which might lead to the inference that the soil was impreg- 
nated with salt ; but the habit of the natives has been, from time imme- 
morial, to carry the salt to the tops of the hills to drain, which will 
readily account for its appearance there. The opinion, however, was 
entertained by some that it proceeded from the soil. The lake is about 
one-third of a mile in diameter, and has the appearance of having been 
the basin of a crater. If this should be the case, it must necessarily be 
admitted that there are two others in juxtaposition with it to the west, 
with partition walls between ; the latter are not as distinct in their out- 
line as the salt lake. All of them, however, appeared to me very dif- 
ferent from the coast craters of the island. Within a short distance 
inland from the salt lake, is a deep ravine or valley, that shows the for- 
mation to be the compact limestone before spoken of, with the stratifi- 
cation of pebbles, &c. All these appearances united, give me the idea 
of the basin having been caused by an action different from that by 
which craters are formed. 

The lake, after the discovery relative to its being but knee-deep, was 
the subject of much discussion at Honolulu. It was visited on several 
occasions afterwards, to ascertain if it had an ebb and flow, and simul- 
taneous observations were made at the shore and in the lake ; but all 
the trials confirmed the first observations. 

On the east end of the island are numerous caves, which Messrs. 
Drayton and Dana visited : they are situated in a bluflf of three 
hundred feet elevation, and the mouths of them are at about two- 
thirds the height. Most of these caves are accessible by ascending 
along the sides of the bluft' obliquely. The natives formerly used them 
for the burial of their dead, and at times they are still so appropriated. 
One was walled up, and a strong pole was lying against the rock, 
which the natives said had been used to bring the body to the 
place. In the centre of the wall which closed the mouth of the 
tomb, was a piece of white tapa, the deposit of which in tombs is 


one of their ancient customs that is still adhered to on this side of the 

These caves are the effect of volcanic action, and were called by the 
natives Kaualahu. Their guide having provided them with torches of 
the tutui-nut, they ascended to one of them, two hundred feet above the 
sea, where, having lighted the torches, they entered to the distance of 
about one hundred feet. Here they found deposited a number of bones, 
among which were only two skulls. On another side was a heap of 
stones, covering more bones and some entire skeletons : to remove these 
stones would have occupied more time than they had to spare, or than 
their feeble lights would allow. 

Taking up the two skulls, they returned to their guide's house. 
Thence they made a visit to two hills, very near to the sea, called 
Kaalau Pele and Kuamuakuai. These hills are composed of yellow 
and brown sand, interspersed with pieces of lava, and have a resem- 
blance in colour and shape to the Punchbowl Hill, back of Honolulu. 

The height of the hill nearest the sea was estimated at five hundred 
feet. At its base are several old craters, one of which is entirely in the 
sea, and shows its perpendicular walls on the side next the hill. 

There are also here extensive fish-ponds, belonging to the king, in 
which the usual fish are kept mullet. 

There are also a number of ponds where the natives manufacture 
large quantities of salt. 

Kaneohe is the mission station for the north side of the island ; it is 
in the district of Pali-Koolau, and includes the eastern part of the north 
side of the island, about twenty-five miles in extent. Kaneohe is 
situated in the centre of it, and lies just beneath the Pali, back of Oahu, 
heretofore spoken of. 

The harbour opposite to Kaneohe is called Waialai, and was sur- 
veyed at the request of the king. At its entrance it was found to 
have only nine feet of water, a depth too little except for the small ves- 
sels of the island. This harbour is formed by the peninsula of Mokapu. 

This district contains four thousand five hundred inhabitants, among 
whom it was said that a decrease had taken place ; but as this asser- 
tion seemed unsupported by any satisfactory evidence, it is not entitled 
to much attention. 

The productions of this district are the same as tht>se of the island 
generally ; the natives seem to be directing their attention to the raising 
of sugar and coffee, and being within a short distance of Honolulu, 
they resort to it with their produce for a market. The climate is cooler 
by a few degrees than that of the opposite or leeward sidcnf the island. 
Frequent showers keep up a constant verdure. 


There are eleven schools in the district, which give instruction to 
about five hundred children. The church has increased in four years 
to two hundred members. Of marriages, there are about seventy 

On the Gth of November, the Flying-Fish returned to Honolulu. 
In the neighbourhood of Honolulu, there are a number of fish-ponds 
belonging to the king, in which are bred several kinds of fish. There 
are many other ponds belonging to individuals. The taro-patches are 
used occasionally for this purpose, and not unfrequently are seen to 
contain large fish ; thus poe and fish, their principal food, though of 
such opposite natures, are raised together. 

They have several modes of taking fish, with the net and hook, and 
sometimes with poisonous herbs. 

They likewise take shrimps and small fish by forming a sort of pen 
in the soft mud, in one corner of which a net is placed ; the shrimps 
and fish leap over the enclosure of the pen, which is gradually con- 
tracted towards the net, which acts like a large seine. 

The most conspicuous point about Oahu, is the noted crater on its 
east end, called Lealu or Diamond Hill. This lies about four and a 
half miles from Honolulu, and forms a very picturesque object from the 
harbour. It is the largest coast-crater on the island, and was visited 
by many of us. The rock, for the most part, consists of vesicular lava, 
very rough and black. The ascent to it is somewhat difficult. On the 
margin of the crater, calcareous incrustations are formed. It is quite 
shallow, and between a half and a third of a mile in diameter. There 
is no appearance of a lava-stream having issued from it. Its surface is 
thickly strewn with lava-blocks, which were also found embedded in 
the coral rock along the shore. The raised coral reef was also seen 
here, where it is partially decomposed, so as to resemble chalk, and 
had been quarried. This rock was found to contain fossils of recent 

At the foot of this hill, on the western side, are the remains of a 
heiau or ancient temple. Certain ceremonies were performed on the 
consecration of these temples, a description of which my friend Dr. 
Judd obtained for me, from the best native authorities, and for which I 
must refer the reader, who may be curious in such matters, to Appendix 
III. The mode t>f building these structures, if so they may be called, 
was for each of the inhabitants, both high and low, to bring stones by 
hand. They are usually quadrangular. The one above noticed was 
on the hill-side overlooking the plain lying towards Honolulu, on which 
is the village or town of Waikiki. 

Off the village of Waikiki there is an anchorage, and the reef 


between it and Honolulu is extensive. The natives derive great 
advantage from this reef in the way of food. 

Between Waikiki and Honolulu there is a vast collection of salt- 
ponds, and I was greatly surprised to find the manufacture of it so 
extensive. It is piled up in large heaps, in which there was, when I 
saw them, from one to two hundred tons. The salt is now exported 
to California, China, Oregon, Kamtschatka, and the Russian settlements 
at Sitka. The natives use it for salting fish and pork, an art which it 
is said they have long practised. 

The women are also frequently seen collecting, in the salt-ponds, 
Confervae and Fuci (sea-weed) for food. 

The repairs of the squadron were, by the 10th of November, rapidly 
drawing to a close. In examining the bottoms of the vessels we had 
made use of a diving-dress of India-rubber with which we were pro- 
vided. This apparatus excited a great deal of curiosity among the 
natives and inhabitants of Honolulu. With it we succeeded in repair- 
ing a few places in the copper that had been injured on those occasions 
when we had struck. 

On the 16th of November, the Porpoise being ready, sailed for 
the Low Archipelago or Paumotu Group. The orders given on 
this occasion to Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, will be found in 
Appendix VII. 










SHORTLY after our arrival, orders were given to be ready for sea by 
the llth of November, at which time it was my desire that we should 
again be on active duty. Finding, after the return of the tender from 
Kauai, that the Vincennes and Peacock would necessarily be detained 
beyond this time to complete their repairs, and wishing to afford the 
naturalists belonging to the Peacock an opportunity of visiting Hawaii, 
I gave Messrs. Peale, Rich, and Dana orders to rejoin the tender on 
the 10th of November. I also gave Mr. Knox instructions to proceed 
direct to Kealakeakna Bay, to land them there, and to be again ready 
to receive them in a week afterwards at Hilo Bay, on the opposite side 
of the island. The party would thus be enabled to cross the island, 
which I had no hopes of being able to accomplish with the naturalists 
attached to the Vincennes, as I believed we should all have enough to 
occupy us fully in the contemplated trip to the top of the mountain, and 
the examination of the volcanic eruptions. On the same evening at 10 
r. M., they went to sea, sweeping out of the harbour, and proceeding on 
their trip. 

In the mean time our preparations for duty were actively progress- 
ing. The Porpoise sailed on the 16th of November, under orders for 
the Paumotu Group. 

Preparations were making on board the Vincennes for our trip to 
the mountain. Dr. Judd, of the mission, at my solicitation, consented 
to accompany me, as did also Mr. Brinsmade, our consul. The 
former kindly offered to take all the preliminary steps in reference 
to the arrangements with the natives, and to procure suitable travelling 
equipments, in the shape of large calabashes, &c. These last are 

VOL. iv. H2 12 <) 


deemed on these islands a most necessary appendage for travelling, 
and are admirably adapted for the purpose, being exceedingly light 
and having great capacity. When in the care of a native, although 
extremely fragile, they are quite secure ; they are surrounded by a 
net made of fine twine or sennit of the cocoa-nut. 

To the forethought of Dr. Judd, and his judicious preparations, I 
feel that much of our success is owing in overcoming many of the 
difficulties that \ve met with. 

Finding that both the new launches could not be finished in the 
prescribed time, arrangements were made to complete the one intended 
for the Peacock, and to defer the finishing of that belonging to the 
Vincennes until our contemplated return in April ; for I deemed that 
the old one, although ill adapted to our wants, would answer all that 
we absolutely required of her previous to that time. 

On the 24th, all were ordered to join the ships. The tender, 
agreeably to her orders, returned on the 28th, and the launch of the 
Peacock being ready, was taken on board on the 29th of November. 

Before taking up the cruises of the ships, however, I shall give an 
account of the tender's trip to Hawaii. 

The naturalists were accompanied by Mr. Hall, a gentleman 
attached to the mission, who kindly volunteered to attend them, and 
to whom they were much indebted for his great usefulness, both as in- 
terpreter, and for the knowledge he possessed of the country. They 
had, besides, two or three natives who spoke English tolerably well. 

They were detained by cairns and light winds, so that they did not 
reach the bay of Kealakeakna until ten o'clock at night, when, having 
obtained the guidance of some fishermen, they anchored in the dark. 

This bay derives its name (path of the gods) from a slide in the hill, 
which is still visible, which the gods are said to have used in order to 
cross the bay quickly. It is of no great extent, and opens between two 
low and barren hills, on each of which a town is situated. 

Between them a high perpendicular bluff rises directly from the 
water, in which are seen numerous caves: in these the natives formerly 
buried their dead, and still use occasionally for the same purpose. 
These caves appear inaccessible, and are the resort of vast numbers 
of birds. 

On the 14th (Saturday), they landed at Napolo, and were kindly 
received by Mr. Forbes, the resident missionary for the district of 
Kealakeakua. They were greatly disappointed when they foun 1 it 
would be impossible to proceed on their tour that day, and that their 
departure would have to be deferred until Monday, as it would b* 
impossible to prepare the food necessary for the journey in a day 


and the next being Sunday, no natives could be persuaded to travel 
until Monday. On the nights of their stay with Mr. Forbes, they 
distinctly saw the heavens lighted up by the fires of the volcano of 
Kilauea Pele, although at the distance of forty miles. This mission 
station is on the west side of Hawaii, and on the south side of the bay 
of Kealakeakua. 

Almost the whole coast of this district, extending forty miles, is one 
line of lava. This frequently lies in large masses for miles in extent, 
and is in other places partially broken, exhibiting perpendicular cliffs, 
against which the sea dashes with fury. This formation extends half 
a mile into the interior, and as the distance from the sea increases, the 
soil becomes richer and more productive. The face of the country, 
even within this rocky barrier, is rough and covered with blocks and 
beds of lava, more or less decomposed. The land in places reaches 
the altitude of two thousand feet, and at a distance of two miles from 
the coast begins to be well covered with woods of various kinds of 
trees, which are rendered almost impassable by an undergrowth of 
vines and ferns. In these woods there are many cleared spots, which 
have the appearance of having been formerly cultivated, or having 
been burnt by the descending streams of lava. In some places, these 
strips of wood descend to within a mile of the shore, having escaped 
destruction. These are in no place parallel to the shore, but lie always 
in the direction which the streams of lava would take in descending 
from the mountains. 

Cultivation is carried on in many places where it would be deemed 
almost impracticable in any other country. There are, indeed, few 
places where a plough could be used in this district, although there is 
a strip of good land from three to five miles wide, having the barren 
lava-coast on one side and the forest on the other. This strip pro- 
duces, luxuriantly, whatever is planted on it, the soil being formed of 
decomposed lava, mixed with vegetable matter. The natives, during 
the rainy season, also plant, in excavations among the lava rocks, 
sweet-potatoes, melons, and pine-apples, all of which produce a crop. 
They have little inducement to raise any thing more than for their 
immediate wants, as there is no market, except one of limited extent 
at Kailau, which is fifteen miles distant. Two or three whale-ships 
touch here during the year, and take in a few provisions and wood, but 
this is not a sufficient stimulus to induce exertions on the part of the 
natives to cultivate the soil, or to produce industrious habits. 

The only staple commodities are sweet-potatoes, upland taro, and 
yams. The latter are almost entirely raised for ships. Sugar-cane, 
bananas, pine-apples, bread-fruit, cocoa-nuts, and melons, are also cul- 


tivated. The Irish potato, Indian corn, beans, coffee, cotton, figs, 
oranges, guavas, and grapes, have been introduced, and might be 
successfully cultivated, if there was any demand for them. 

The climate is mild throughout the district. The thermometer 
ranges between 62 and 76 in the winter, and from 70 to 86 in the 
summer, and seldom above 86 or below 62 ; this, it will be remem- 
bered, is on the lee side of the island. They seldom have strong 
winds ; and in the day they enjoy a cool sea-breeze, which changes to 
the land-breeze at night. 

From May to September is the wet or rainy season, when they 
experience a good deal of rain; and this is also the growing season. 

In December, January, and February, they have usually very dry 
weather, and the winds prevail from the north, from which quarter it 
sometimes blows fresh. 

The natives are better off here than could have been expected, and 
some of their houses are large and airy. The chiefs set a good 
example in this respect. Kapiolani, one of the chief women, has a very 
comfortable two-story stone dwelling. They have also built a stone 
church, one hundred and twenty-five feet long by sixty feet wide. 

Good paths for horses have been made throughout the district, with 
much labour. An evident improvement has taken place in the habits 
of the females, who nave been taught the use of the needle, and other 
feminine employments. Kapiolani has been very assiduous in intro- 
ducing improvements, and she has caused to be erected a sugar-mill, 
to introduce the manufacture of sugar, and make it an object for the 
people to raise the cane. 

Our gentlemen, during their detention, crossed over to the north 
shore of the bay of Kealakeakua, to visit the place were Captain Cook 
was killed. The natives pointed out the spot where he fell, which was 
on a rock, the most convenient for landing of any in the vicinity, as it 
is somewhat protected from the swell by a point of lava rocks. Within 
a few yards there is a stump of a cocoa-nut tree, at the foot of which 
he is said to have breathed his last. The top of this tree had been 
cut off and carried to England by H. B. M. ship Imogene. It is now 
treasured up in the museum of the Greenwich Hospital, which I cannot 
but feel was an appropriate disposition of it, calculated to recall his 
memory to the minds of ihe thousands who view it, and inspire in 
them the feeling of proper pride, in finding that the country appreciates 
so remote an emblem of their distinguished countryman. If any thing 
is capable of inspiring ambition to exertion in deeds of valour or of 
usefulness, such things must assuredly have that effect. The drawing 
of the stump of this tree, is from a sketch made by Mr. Peale, who 


remarks that this monument will last as long as the rock on which 
Cook stood when first wounded, as every one who visits the place 
breaks fragments from the latter. 



The following is the inscription on it : 





A. D. 1778. 


OCTOBER 17TH, 1837. 


SEPTEMBER 13TH, 1839, 

I could have wished that the first inscription, relating solely to Cook, 
was the only one ; the other, it seems to me, was not worthy of being 
associated with any thing connected with so great a name; and good 
taste and proper feeiing I think would have shrunk from inscribing it 
as well as the following on another part, " Give this a coat of tar." 

The inhabitants of this district are nine thousand. The marriages 
are about one hundred yearly. The population is thought to be de- 
creasing, but this is assuming as correct the former census, which I 


have (before said is not to be relied on. The grounds on which this 
decrease has been supposed to exist were, that it was found that of 
fifty-six mothers, taking old and young promiscuously, were born two 
hundred and sixty-seven children, of whom one hundred and twenty- 
nine, are living, one hundred and twenty-five died very young, mostly 
under the age of two years, and thirteen at ages beyond ten years. It 
is thought by Mr. Forbes, that this proportion of deaths would hold 
good through the district. One thing seems certain however, that they 
do not all die from hereditary diseases; many are carried off by 
diarrhoea, occasioned by improper diet, and a few are stillborn. There 
has also been much emigration from this district to others, and many 
have embarked as sailors on board whale-ships. The laws under 
which they formerly lived, have caused them to be improvident. 
They have frequently suffered from want of food ; and not unfre- 
quently they are obliged to work without either good water or suffi- 
cient nutriment. 

From all accounts, cases of infanticide are rare, nor, as we have 
before observed, is it thought that the law prohibiting illicit intercourse 
has had a tendency to increase it. One of the causes which formerly 
made it frequent, was the husband leaving his wife for another woman, 
which invariably led to her destroying the child. 

As respects intemperance, there has been no native seen intoxicated 
for several years. 

There are twenty-three schools, one of which is kept by the mis- 
sionaries, and the others by natives, some of whom have been educated 
at the high-school at Lahaina. The number of scholars is between 
seven and eight hundred. 

The principal diseases are those of a scorbutic character, cutaneous 
eruptions, remittent fevers, catarrhs, and inflammation of the viscera; 
these are the most fatal. Diarrhoea, dysentery, and ophthalmia also 
prevail to some extent. 

The southwest side of Hawaii is termed the district of Kona, and 
includes Kealakeakua and Kailau. Having already spoken of the 
former, I shall now refer to the latter; more especially as from all 
accounts I heard of it, the natives are more advanced in the useful 
arts than elsewhere, and are now less dependent on foreigners. 

The town of Kailau is the residence of Kuakini, better known 
among foreigners by the name of Governor Adams, who is governor 
of Hawaii. 

This district lies to the north of Kealakeakua, and begins about five 
miles from Napolo. It is similar to it in character, but the lava is of 
more recent formation, the eruptions from Hualalai having flowed down 


and covered nearly the whole northern portion. This eruption hap- 
pened about thirty years since, in 1809 and 1810. Hualalai is between 
seven and eight thousand feet in height, and rises abruptly on its west 

Rain seldom falls on the coast, except in showers, and a rainy day 
once in the year is looked upon as something remarkable. This, 
together with the absence of all dew, prevents the existence of much 
cultivation ; it affords, nevertheless, a coarse vegetation, sufficient to 
pasture a few hundred goats; but, a mile back from the shore, the sur- 
face is covered with herbage, which maintains cattle, &c. ; and two 
miles in the interior there is sufficient moisture to keep up a constant 

Here, in a belt half a mile wide, the bread-fruit is met with in 
abundance, and above this the taro is cultivated with success. At an 
elevation of between two and three thousand feet, and at the dis- 
tance of five miles, the forest is first met with. The trees of this are 
suitable for building timber, and boards and shingles are made of them. 
The products of this portion of Kona are the same as before de- 

The prevailing winds are the land and sea breezes, which are very 
regular ; there are likewise strong north winds, but the most severe 
gales are those from the southwest, which the natives term kona ; 
these last from a few hours to two and even three days, and are fol- 
lowed by rain: they are seldom strong enough to injure the houses. 

Here the temperature is very mild and equable. During the winter 
the thermometer ranges, at sunrise, from 64 to 78 F. ; at midday, 76 
to 85 ; at sunset, 70 to 80. In summer the range is 68 to 80 at 
sunrise; at midday, 78 to 86; and at sunset, 72 to 81. I have not 
been able to get. any data for the amount of rain that falls. 

The population in 1839 was 5,943, which was only fourteen less 
than in 1835. It is the opinion of the missionaries that the population 
is not decreasing by death, and it is thought that any apparent de- 
crease is owing to removals, or if not to this cause, perhaps to an error 
in the census. The register of births and deaths for nine months, in 
1839, would seem to confirm this, there being one hundred and twenty- 
three births and ninety-one deaths, or thirty-two in favour of the 

The result of the inquiries of Dr. Andrews, the resident physician, 
shows a great mortality among the children. Out of ninety-six married 
females, nearly all under forty-five years of age, twenty-three had no 
children ; the remaining seventy-three had two hundred and ninety- 
nine, of which one hundred and fifty-two did not survive the second 


year ; a large proportion of them died at from six to ten months old ; 
six died between two and ten years, and fourteen died when over tea 
years old. 

The dwellings of the natives are a little improved, and Governor 
Adams has the best-built stone house in the Hawaiian Islands. He has 
also a cotton factory constructed of stone, and by his influence there 
has been erected a large stone church and a school-house. He also 
gives much attention to the schools, and has twenty-three in his dis- 
trict for adult scholars, who are six or seven hundred in number ; and 
thirteen for children, with about five hundred pupils : all of these are 
taught by natives. To these is to be added a school for girls, taught by 
the ladies of the mission, numbering fifty-five scholars. 

Governor Adams, like all individuals of his class who are desirous of 
improving his countrymen, is represented by the low foreigners to be 
of a miserly and grasping disposition, and they say that he has ac- 
quired large stores of wealth, which he hoards up. He is certainly 
much respected by all those not engaged in trade, and spoken highly 
of by the natives over whom he rules. He is admitted, however, by 
both foreigners and natives, to be one of the most shrewd and intelli- 
gent of the nation, and desirous of turning all things to account, com- 
peting even with foreigners. I had not the pleasure of meeting with 
him, of which I was desirous ; for, owing to our unexpected detention 
at Oahu, we did not reach Hilo so soon as we had intended, and he 
was obliged to return to his home on the opposite side of the island. 
Being a man of large dimensions, as the chiefs usually are, he \vas 
deterred from performing so toilsome a journey again during our 

The industry which prevails in his own particular district certainly 
shows uncommon exertion on the part of some one ; and the fact that 
the natives are better clad, and more inclined to steady employment 
when they have no markets for the sale of their produce, speaks much 
in their favour. Any branch of industry that is likely to produce 
profit, and that will yield them the means of procuring clothing, is en- 
gaged in with avidity. 

There is only one store, where sandalwood, tutui-nuts, beans, corn, 
palm-leaf hats, and mustard-seed, are exchanged for goods. Corn 
(maize) is becoming quite an extensive article of commerce, and 
its cultivation is rapidly extending; cotton is likewise attended to. 
There is, indeed, little doubt, but that this people, under proper JH- 
couragement, will become industrious and prosperous. 

A considerable trade is kept up between the south and north end 
of this district. The inhabitants of the barren portion of the latter 

H A W A I I A N D O A H U. 97 

are principally occupied in fishing and the manufacture of salt, which 
articles are bartered with those who live in the more fertile regions of 
the south, for food and clothing. 

Some knowledge of the arts has been acquired, and the mass of 
the people manifest much ingenuity in the manufacture of various 
articles for convenience and comfort. A few have shown some skill 
in carpentry, having acquired this knowledge entirely by looking on 
and practising. Some have in the same way acquired the art of 
laying stone; and the large house of Governor Adams, heretofore 
spoken of, was entirely built by natives, under the superintendence of 
a foreigner. Others have been entirely erected by native workmen. 
Some have also become blacksmiths, and comb-makers, and a large 
number of native women are employed in making palm-leaf hats, 
which are of good quality. 

Governor Adams intends that his cotton manufactures shall super- 
sede European goods. Such undertakings cannot but excite interest 
in all who are looking to the general improvement and civilization of 
the islands of Polynesia. Like all first attempts at manufacturing, it 
was attended with difficulties; and as it may possess interest with 
some, I will give an account of its progress. 

In 1837 an edifice of stone was erected, using mud instead of lime- 
mortar, for the proposed works, thirty by sixty feet, with a thatched 
roof, and well lighted with glazed windows. About twenty wheels 
were made by natives, after a model furnished by a foreign carpenter, 
except the wheel-heads, which were of American manufacture. A 
small Chinese gin was employed to free the cotton of the seeds, only 
a trifle better than using the fingers; the cards were imported from 
the United States. Thus prepared, the work went into operation on 
the 1st of January, 1838. 

Three females, who had made a tolerable proficiency in the art of 
spinning, and had been taught by the American missionaries residing 
at Maui, were procured as teachers. Under these, thirty women and 
girls, from ten to forty years of age, began spinning; they soon equalled 
their teachers, and many of the younger ones excelled them. 

Two looms and other necessarv apparatus were next procured, and 
also a foreigner to teach the use of them. He was engaged for several 
months in the establishment, during which time he had under his in- 
struction four young men, with whom he wove several pieces of brown 
stripes and plaids, plain and twilled cotton cloth. After this time, the 
natives were able to prepare and weave independently of his aid. 
Becoming dissatisfied, however, all left the work, together with the 
foreigner ; but after some time they were induced to return to their 

VOL. iv. l 13 

98 H A W A I I A N D O A H U. 

work. This small establishment has ever since been kept up entirely 
by the natives. It is succeeding with this aid alone, and is probably 
the only one of the kind in Polynesia. 

In this district, no cases of intoxication had been seen for some 
years prior to the French treaty; but since that time, an American 
resident at Honolulu has introduced spirituous liquors, by which a 
number of natives have been once more led back to this vice. 

No cases of infanticide have been heard of here. 

The acute diseases which prevail in Kailau, are inflammation of 
the lungs, pleura, and peritoneum ; but these are not frequent. Acute 
inflammation of the eyes is common, but generally yields readily to 
medical treatment. Fevers of the synochus type are common ; typhus 
is rare, if it ever occur. Chronic inflammation of the eyes, accom- 
panied by opacity of the cornea, is of frequent occurrence; as are 
also asthma, diarrhosa, cutaneous eruptions, and ulcers. Paralysis 
and mania are frequent; gonorrhoea is met with, but few cases of 
recent syphilis. The mumps spread extensively during the summer of 
1839; in some cases, owing to want of care and exposure, it was 
severe, but was more generally mild. 

In this district, the Reverend Mr. Thurston has been settled as 
missionary since the year 1823, and is assisted by Dr. Seth Andrews, 
to whom I feel much indebted for useful information. 

Mr. Rich found but few plants among the decomposed scoria; 
among them he notices Copaiva, Plumbago zeylanica, Boerhaavia, 
several Convolvuli and Sidas, with a few grasses and some lichens. 
Copaiva and Plumbago, are two of the most powerful remedies in the 
native materia medica. The Sidas are used for making liis for the 

The ground has the appearance of having been once more exten- 
sively cultivated than it is at present. The trees were Artocarpus, 
Aleurites, Eugenia, and Broussonetia, all of which furnish both food 
and clothing, and have been brought here at some former time from 
other regions. 

On Monday, our gentlemen formed themselves into two parties, and 
started on horseback for their journey. One party consisted of Messrs. 
Peale, Rich, and Hall, with eight Kanakas and two guides ; Mr. Dana 
and Midshipman Hudson, with Kanakas and guides, formed the other, 
which took the route along the sea-shore towards the south, well pro- 
vided with provisions, and a supply of various articles for their journey ; 
Mrs. Forbes, with great kindness, having added many things for their 
comfort, which they duly appreciated. 

On their way from the coast, they in a short time came to a very 


fertile district, with luxuriant sugar-cane, taro, &c., and good houses. 
The taro here is cultivated without water ; but in order to retain the 
moisture and protect the plant from the sun, it was observed that they 
used fern-leaves to secure and shield the roots. The taro, thus culti- 
vated, attains a much larger size and is superior to that which is grown 
in water, being more dry and mealy. The houses of this district are 
much better also, although the natives, for the most part, reside at the 
sea-shore, to enjoy fishing and bathing. 

In their day's jaunt they passed some wooded land, the trees of 
which consisted of koa (Acacia), Edwardsia chrysophylla (which is 
used for fuel), Dodona?a, &c. Plants of wild raspberry and strawberry 
were seen, the fruits of both now out of season ; the former, however, 
yet showed some of its blossoms, like small roses. The most remark- 
able plant was a species of dock, with large clusters of crimson flowers, 
which runs up the branches of dead trees to the height of twenty or 
thirty feet. These woods abounded with birds, several of which Mr. 
Peale shot ; among them a crow, called by the natives Alala, and a 
muscicapa called Elepaio, formerly worshipped as the god of canoe- 
makers. Before reaching their camping-place, they stopped to fill their 
calabashes with water, as they did not expect to find any of that 
necessary article for the next few days. On the edge of the last timber, 
at the elevation of two thousand feet, they encamped. Here they found 
excellent pasture for their horses among the ferns, a great abundance 
of which had been met with on both sides of the path, and were from 
four to five feet in height. 

At night, the temperature fell to 48, which was thirty degrees less 
than they had left it on the coast ; and it was cold enough to sleep 
under two blankets. 

The next day they arose at sunrise, when Mr. Hall and the natives, 
as they did regularly every morning during the journey, prayed and 
sang a hymn, before setting out. They soon passed beyond the woods, 
and entered a country of barren appearance, composed of hard solid 
lavas, in the crevices of which were found several shrubby Geraniums, 
Vacciniums, Daphnes, numerous Compositse of a stiff' rigid character, 
and some small ohea bushes, a kind of sweet whortleberry. 

On their route, many deep caverns were observed under the lava. 
The signs of wild cattle and dogs were frequent: the latter seek shelter 
in these caves. The cattle are now rapidly on the increase, there being 
a prohibition against killing them until a certain number of years have 

After a day's travel, they reached the site of the ancient temple of 
Kaili. These ruins lie about equally distant from three mountains, Mauna 


Kea, Manna Loa, and Hualalai. This temple is said to have been 
built by Umi, \vho, with his wife Papa, is supposed to have inhabited 
it, when he was king of the island. The three northern pyramids 
forming the front were originally erected by Umi, to represent the dis- 
tricts of the island he then governed; and as he conquered other dis- 
tricts, he obliged each of them to build a pyramid on the side of the 

This temple is represented in the adjoining plate. The main building 
A, is ninety-two feet long, by seventy-one feet ten inches wide ; the 
walls are six feet nine inches high, seven feet thick at the top, and 
nearly perpendicular ; the partition walls are three feet high : B and c 
are said to have been pedestals for idols ; D, E, and F, are the pyramids 
built by Umi, eighteen feet high ; G is the residence of Kaili's wife, 
Papa, also built by Umi. 

The five remaining pyramids, H, i, j, K, L, are those erected by the 
conquered districts. All these are built of compact blocks of lava, laid 
without cement. 

The building is said to have formerly been covered with idols, and 
offerings were required to be brought from a great distance, consisting 
generally of provisions. There are now no traces left of these idols. 
The situation of the temple is at an elevation of five thousand feet 
above the sea. 

They proceeded a few miles beyond this point with their horses, but 
found the ground, consisting of broken lava and scoria, too rough for 
them. They therefore put them in charge of three little boys, to take 
them back to Kealakeakua Bay. 

Mr. Peale shot two of the mountain geese peculiar to this part of 
the island ; they are remarkably fine birds, and live entirely upon 
berries. In their route this day they passed several caves, which the 
natives were said to have inhabited while collecting sandalwood on 
the mountains for the chiefs. The walking now became extremely 
fatiguing, over vast piles of scoria, thrown up in loose heaps. There 
was no vegetation except a few small trees of Metrosideros, scattered 
here and there, and whortleberries. The heaps of scoria were to ap- 
pearance like those from some huge foundry. 

On the 18th, they resumed their journey at an early hour, passing 
in a direction towards Mauna Kea, over many rough ridges of the old 
lava streams, that were found from a quarter of a mile to a mile in 
width. One in particular, that pursued a northwest direction, thrir 
guides informed them was forty miles in length, and had flowed down 
towards the centre of the island. It had not a particle of vegetation on 
it; not even a lichen was to be seen. The lava of this stream is broken 


up into pieces of all sorts of shapes and sizes, weighing from a pound 
to many tons. Mr. Peale remarks, that the whole mass looked so 
flesh, that it appeared as though it ought to burn the feet of the 
passing traveller and yet this eruption took place anterior to native 

One of the native guides, Kimo, gave out here from fatigue, and 
after sharing his load they left him to follow. 

They next passed two old craters covered with bushes and grass, at 
whose base was a fresh-looking stream of glassy lava. The first crater 
was in many respects like an old stone quarry, though on a gigantic 
scale : the rocks were broken up, and thrown about in great confusion; 
one side of the wall appeared as though it had been blown out, and 
strewed on the plain beneath ; the sides that were left were nearly per- 
pendicular, and presented distinct layers. Many plants were growing 
in the crevices. 

The second crater was of a regular conical shape, both within and 
without, the interior being an inverted cone. Although the interior 
presented this great regularity, yet its sides were apparently composed 
of large blocks of lava, thrown out from its bottom, and lodged on its 
sides one above the other. 

They encamped at the foot of a very old crater, now covered with 
trees of Edwardsia and Acacia, where they found water. The natives 
sought out one of the lava caves, as a protection against the cold and 
misty wind. Kimo again joined them at dark. 

Although the next day they had fine weather and clear sunshine, yet 
they could see the rain falling from the clouds on the route before them. 
This rain they experienced shortly afterwards, and were obliged to 
travel through a driving mist all day, with a very chilly atmosphere. 
The natives complained so much of cold, that the party were induced 
to stop, light a fire, and give them some provisions, which had now 
become rather scarce. Seeing abundant signs of wild cattle, and hear- 
ing the sound of a distant gun, one of the guides went off* to the haunts 
of the cattle-hunters in the neighbourhood, and shortly after returned 
with a supply of jerked beef. 

Their route lay next through some very good grazing ground ; and 
large herds of cattle find subsistence here, which are killed for the 
hides. Bones were lying in all directions. There is also some very 
good arable land, covered with large grass. 

This part of the island would make valuable grazing farms, for 

there is a sufficiency of soil to support them, and wood to build with, 

though scarcely enough of the latter article for fuel. The loose scoria 

would make excellent fences, as the cattle can with difficulty be driven 




over it. The distance from the coast and the want of roads, howevei, 
would interpose many obstacles to its settlement ; and the climate, so 
unlike what the natives are accustomed to on the coast, would probably 
prevent their services from being obtained. 

The next morning they perceived that the tops of both Mauna Kea 
and Mauna Loa were covered with snow, which, however, disappeared 
by ten o'clock. They now took a southerly course, crossing ovei 
many ancient beds of lava much decomposed, and now covered with 
vegetation. The trees were the koa (Acacia), Edvvardsia, and 
Dodona3a. They now first met the curious Composite mentioned by 
Douglass, and named by Dr. Hooker, Argyrophyton Douglassii; it 
was seen about eight feet in height, covered with a silver pubescence, 
which gives it a beautiful appearance. They found many pools of 
water in the lava. They had crossed over the flank of Mauna Loa, 
and supposed themselves to be about two-thirds of the way up towards 
its summit. 

The temperature at night fell to 40. 

The beautiful columnar cloud of the volcano of Kilauea, which is 
always seen to hang over the crater, both by day and by night, was 
now in full view. 

The next day they were on their route early, and passed some rich 
grazing country, with the grass full four feet high. From all appear- 
ances, these parts are not visited by cattle. There were many trees of 
koa (Acacia), Edwardsia, &c., as before. A fog coming on, they lost 
their way, and were obliged to retrace their steps. Our gentlemen, 
having their pocket-compasses, now took the lead, to the no small as- 
tonishment of their guides, that they could, in a thick fog, direct the 
way through places they had never visited before. Kimo, their Oahu 
guide, again gave out, and was left to follow ; and as he did not come 
up as soon as he was expected, the guides and natives set out, in a 
praiseworthy manner, to hunt him up, although they were all more or 
less lamed by crossing over the rough lava during the day. They soon 
succeeded in finding him, and returned to the camp. 

On the 22d, they reached the volcano, and considered themselves 
amply repaid for the rough travelling they had gone through for six 
days previously. As I shall have occasion to speak more fully of this 
portion of the island, with its many craters and its volcanic action, I 
shall defer the account of it for the present. 

Our gentlemen now set out for Hilo, where they arrived the day 
after, having travelled a distance of one hundred and fifty miles. Here 
they again embarked on board the Flying-Fish, which sailed for Oahu, 
and reached Honolulu on the 28th of November. 


The squadron was now on the eve of sailing, having on board stores 
and provisions for a long cruise. As this winter's cruising was par- 
ticularly intended to examine the portion of ocean that was not in- 
cluded in my instructions, I shall, before narrating the details of the 
proceedings of the squadron, give, in a general view, the intended ope- 

The movements of the squadron were, at this time, particularly 
directed to the examination of parts of the ocean possessing great 
interest in their connexion with that important branch of national in- 
dustry, the whale-fishery; and the course I proposed to adopt will be 
understood from the following statement of the objects I now had in 

The Porpoise, as before remarked, had been sent towards the Pau- 
motu Group, or Dangerous Archipelago, lying to the eastward of 
Tahiti, to examine some islands that were reported as doubtful, and 
others whose positions were not well ascertained. She was also to 
leave a party on one of them, to bore through the coral rock, the Ex- 
pedition having been provided with an apparatus for that purpose. 
Thence she was to proceed to Tahiti, and from Tahiti towards Pen- 
rhyn and Flint's Island ; and return to Oahu by the end of March, 
1841. The Porpoise sailed, as has been stated, on the IGth of Novem- 
ber, 1840. 

The Peacock, with the Flying-Fish as tender, I designed should visit 
and examine the location of several of the doubtful islands, passing 
along, the magnetic equator westward from the meridian of 160 W. ; 
thence to a small group of islands in longitude 174 W., which I had 
partly examined in the Vincennes, and had found some new islands 
among them; these I had called the Pho?.nix Group. Thence the Pea- 
cock was to proceed to search for the Gente Hermosas of Quiros, or 
the islands reported to me at Upolu, when I was there in 1839, as ex- 
isting to the northeast ; thence to Upolu, to re-survey the south side of 
the island, not having been able to satisfy myself with the former sur- 
vey of it ; at the same time directing Captain Hudson to inquire into 
the late murder of an American seaman, of which I had received infor- 
mation from our consul, Mr. Williams. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold had, as before stated, made a de- 
mand for the murderer, but the chiefs had refused to comply with the 
treaty. The circumstances of the murder of Gideon Smith, as given 
by affidavits made before the consul, (which will be found in Appendix 
XX., Vol. III.,) are as follows. 

Gideon Smith was a native of Bath, Massachusetts. He belonged 
to the whale-ship Harold, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, but left her on 


touching at the island of Upolu, about the 1st of May, and went to live 
with a chief, Palasi by name, in the village of Fatua. Here he took a 
wife, belonging to this chief's family. It appears, that after a few 
weeks the family did not use him well, and were desirous of getting rid 
of him, but wished to retain a monkey-jacket belonging to him. For 
this purpose they got possession of the jacket, and took his wife away 
from him. After the third night, it appears that Smith left the house, 
taking with him three axes, five fathoms of cloth, a shawl, and tapa, in 
payment for his jacket, or until it should be given up to him. The 
next day, it appears that Palasi and his wife came in search of Smith ; 
and, on hearing that the articles were in possession of one of his ac- 
quaintances by the name of Maitland, they told him to keep the articles, 
for all that thev wanted was their white man. Smith refused to re- 


turn, and said that all he desired was his jacket, which was soon after 
brought, and then the articles were returned. Smith was advised not 
to walk about, or leave the village after dark, until the chiefs anger 
was over: but he appears not to have heeded this advice, having gone 
to Murivai, part of the town of Saluafala, and after dark went out, for 
the purpose of going to a house about three hundred yards distant. 
The moon was full, and it was quite light. About half an hour after 
he set out, a native inquired for Smith, and said that he had stepped in 
something that was in the path, which was not water, but felt like 
blood. The alarm was immediately given, and, on search being made, 
the body of Smith was found, with a cut on the right side of the neck, 
which had nearly severed the head from the body, another on the left 
side, a deep wound with an axe on the breast, and one on the head. 

Suspicion at once rested upon Vave, alias Tagi, Palasi's brother, 
who was heard inquiring for Smith, having an axe in his hand at the 
time. This man was examined before the consul, and when asked if 
he had murdered the white man, said " Yes." On being asked the 
reason, he said, " Because his heart was pained with his theft." Being 
further questioned, as to the circumstances, he said, " That when 
Smith first landed, he came to him with another white man, to procure 
a wife, offering an American axe and jacket as a reward or purchase 
for her. After a few days Smith wished to change his lodgings, and 
live with another man by the name of Maitland, taking his wife with 
him. The day after, a report reached the family that the girl had 
cried all night, and that Smith had hurt her. They returned and lived 
a short time together at her house, after which Smith again left it, 
with the articles. These, Tagi said, had been all returned except a 
siapo belonging to the girl. The failure to return the latter caused 
them to be very angry, and he took up an axe to go in search of 


Smith, with an intent to kill him. On meeting Smith, he asked him 
for the siapo, which he denied having, upon which he killed him with 
the axe." 

From other evidence, it fully appeared that all the family of Palasi 
were cognizant of the fact; and the chiefs having refused to give 
him up, or try him for murder, it became necessary to show these 
islanders that they could not commit such acts with impunity. Captain 
Hudson was, therefore, instructed to inquire into the facts, and take 
such measures as would secure our citizens from molestation in future, 
and cause the islanders to respect their own regulations. 

From the Samoan Group the Peacock was to proceed to examine 
and survey Ellice's Group ; thence north to the Kingsmill Group, and 
passing through the Rurick Chain, visit the Pescadores, to ascertain, 
if possible, any circumstances that would throw light on the fate of a 
Captain Dowsett, who it was supposed might have been detained in 
captivity by the natives. The following particulars from his wife were 
furnished me by Mr. Brinsmade, the American consul at Oahu: they 
are all that is known of his fate. 

The schooner Victoria was in charge of Captain Dowsett, and went 
to the Pescadores, on a shelling voyage ; there he landed with several 
of the crew, and among them a boy named Brown. Some difficulty 
occurred on shore, and the captain and such of the crew as were with 
him were set upon, and were not seen afterwards. The boy escaped. 
The survivors describe the people as a fishing party, unarmed and 
unwarlike, with no other weapons but sticks and pieces of iron hoops 
purchased from the schooner. They had neither clubs nor spears. A 
report afterwards reached Oahu, that a canoe had been picked up 
with some natives, who reported that Captain Dowsett and his men 
were alive ; that one of them was named Sam, (the Christian name of 
Captain Dowsett,) and another George, (the name of a New Zealander.) 
Mr. H. A. Pierce, a merchant of Honolulu, in consequence, despatched 
the schooner Waverley in search of them. This vessel has never been 
heard of, but reports reached Honolulu, that Captain Scott, had suc- 
ceeded in getting the chief on board, and had recognised several 
articles belonging to Captain Dowsett, which his wife had sent him. 
Some misunderstanding occurring between the master of the Waverley 
and the chief, the former cut off the beard of the latter and sent him on 

The cause of the difficulty that occurred between Mr. Dowsett and 
the natives is unknown. The boy. Brown, was at a distance from the 
[tarty when it took place, and did not see Mr. Dowsett. Dowsett and 
the chief had been previously on the most friendly terms, and had 

VOL. IV. 14 


exchanged tokens of friendship. I was desirous of clearing up the 
mystery that hung over their fate, and also that of the Waverley, and 
directed the Peacock to visit, for this purpose, Strong's and Ascension 
Islands, after leaving the Pescadores. 

The facts known concerning the Waverley are very few, but they 
lead to the belief that she lies a wreck on Strong's Island. The 
schooner Honduras, Captain Scott, went to Strong's Island under the 
impression that the natives were very peaceable and friendly, intend- 
ing to overhaul the vessel there, in the east bay. At noon on the 23d 
of August, 1835, he arrived off the island. No canoes came alongside, 
a circumstance which excited the suspicion of several of the crew that 
had formerly resided there, for they knew that it was customary for 
some of the natives to board a vessel as soon as she neared the island. 
They told their fears to the captain ; but canoes arriving shortly after 
with presents of bread-fruit, he manifested some displeasure that the 
crew should have had any doubts on the subject, and calling to one of 
them who formerly had lived there, told him to ask the natives where 
all the white men were. They readily answered, "On the other side 
of the island," which at once quieted the captain's suspicions, though 
it appeared to confirm those of some of the crew who knew them better. 
The captain, however, ordered the boat to be hoisted out, and gave as 
many of the crew as chose, permission to go on shore. Two of them 
went immediately, and then the captain and six others. Shortly after, 
the natives began to throng on board. In about half an hour, those 
remaining on board heard the captain call for help, which was the 
last they knew respecting him. 

On seeing that the attack had begun on shore, the natives on board 
instantly attacked the seven men remaining in the vessel. The mate 
and another man rushed below, and having armed themselves with 
muskets, they again reached the deck : the natives who had possession 
of it, seeing the fire-arms, immediately jumped overboard. An Ameri- 
can, named Webber, and a Malay, were found lying dead ; the other 
three had disappeared. The natives now discovering that the muskets 
were out of order, endeavoured again to get on board, but were kept 
off until the swivels were loaded, when they all swam for the shore. 
These two men at once slipped the cable, and got the vessel under 
way. When beating out of the harbour, a cannon was fired at them 
several times, with so well-directed an aim, that the shot passed close 
to the vessel. This gun was believed to be a six-pounder, belon.ii'ii^ 
to the Waverley ; and it is thought that that vessel was captured, and 
is now lying a wreck there. 

The Honduras put away for Ascension Island, where she arrived in 


ten days, and was taken possession of by Mr. Dudoit, the part owner, 
who obtained another crew ; she then returned to Strong's Island, and 
cruised off and on for a month, but nothing was seen after the first 
day, when two boats and a canoe approached the vessel. One of the 
boats was recognised as that belonging to the Honduras, in which the 
captain had gone on shore ; the other was thought to belong to the 
Waverley, but the boats did not come near enough to permit them, or 
the persons in them, to be distinguished: they were, however, clothed. 
Guns fired at them when they were entirely out of reach, caused them 
to return. Masts, supposed to have been those of a vessel, were seen 
over the land. 

A rumour reached Tahiti, a year afterwards, that both Captain 
Cathcart, of the Waverley, and Captain Scott, were living at Strong's 
Island, and that the hull of the Waverley was lying rotting in a creek 
on the west side of the island. 

In looking into all the facts of these cases, it seems that there may 
have been some cause for the great change that took place in the 
conduct of the natives of these islands, in the course pursued by the 
whites. It appears by testimony in my possession, that Mr. Dudoit 
had confined and taken away two men against their will, on a former 
visit. We have also seen that Captain Cathcart, of the Waverley, had 
maltreated a chief, by cutting off his beard : this act was sufficient to 
incense the whole people, and to cause the capture and massacre of all 
the whites within reach; for it is an indignity that no natives of the 
South Seas would submit to. It seems very probable that the whites 
could have become so ascendant on the island, in so short a time as 
elapsed between the two visits of the Honduras ; but it is not at all 
surprising that the natives should have visited Mr. Dudoit's sins upon 
the head of his captain. 

There was an impression at Oahu, that white men must have had 
some agency in the business, from the manner in which the guns were 
directed and fired. If a massacre took place on board the Waver- 
ley, it is not improbable that two or three might have been spared, 
held in subjection by the natives, and forced to perform this service. 
The presence and action of whites may have arisen from runaways 
from vessels, for we have had ample proof that throughout the Pacific 
isles there are dissolute characters, who would be as prone as anv 
savage to deeds of piracy or blood, if they themselves were to derive 
any benefit from it. 

Whatever were the true state of things, I felt well satisfied that it 
was desirable for some part of our force to visit this island ; both it 
and Ascension were therefore included in the orders of Captain Hud- 


son. The latter is at present the limit of the whale-fishery within 
the tropics to the west. I was desirous also of obtaining a knowledge 
of the supplies it afforded for recruiting whale-ships, as well as making 
an examination of some interesting monuments of the natives said to 
exist there. 

The Peacock and tender were ordered from these islands to proceed ., 
to the Northwest Coast of America, to rendezvous with the rest of the 
squadron at the Columbia river, in the latter end of April. 

This cruise included the middle as well as the extreme western part 
of the cruising-ground of our whale-ships. How far these intentions 
were accomplished, will be seen when I come to treat of her opera- 
tions. Captain Hudson's instructions will be found in Appendix VIII. 

The eastern section of this belt it was my intention to explore with 
the Vincennes, after having visited and examined the volcanoes of 
Hawaii, and made the pendulum observations on the top of Maima 
Loa. The unforeseen difficulties which occurred to prevent my carry- 
ing out this plan will appear in the following chapters. 

The Peacock and tender sailed on the afternoon of the 2d of De- 
cember, 1840. The tender, in leaving the harbour, took the ground, 
and was detained several hours. Captain Hudson sent one of his 
boats to her aid, and informed Mr. Knox that he would steer off on a 
certain course, directing him to follow this after dark ; 1 was, there- 
fore, not a little surprised the next morning to find the Peacock in 
sight, standing in, having missed the Flying-Fish in the night: we 
telegraphed that the tender had sailed the evening before, and the 
Peacock again stood off. We shortly after saw them join company, 
and bear away on their route. 







3 si 

3 .; 


E a ^ 

: = ':N| 

2 1 4 ! 8 ^ ' 

5 ? s ih 




IN the Vincennes we were all ready at an early hour on the 3d 
of December, excepting the pilot, Adams, who was not to be found. 
He finally came on board, when, from his actions, I concluded that he 
was intoxicated, and told him so; this it seems he took in high dudgeon. 
After I had gone on shore to transact some business, he became very 
noisy and abusive to the first-lieutenant, who very properly told him to 
leave the ship. Finding that he was not to be depended upon, I 
determined to take the ship to sea myself, and for this purpose stationed 
boats to act as buoys on the narrowest part of the bar. Shortly after 
this was done, a fresh breeze sprung up, we cast off, and in a few 
minutes were safely outside. 

I was led, by this circumstance, to lay a complaint before the king 
against the employment of a drunken pilot, and was in hopes that 
Adams would, in consequence, have been dismissed, and a competent 
person appointed in his stead. But through misrepresentations made 
to the king, no new appointment was made. Mr. Reynolds acts in 
old Adams's place when he is drunk, and the result, as I have been 
credibly informed, is, that more than one half of the ships, going in or 
coming out, get on shore. Some instances of the sort occurred during 
my stay, among which was the case of the ship Morea. I urged the 
dismissal of .Adams, on the ground that if he were not removed, the 
price of insurance of vessels bound to the port of Honolulu would be 
affected, and that, besides, the interest of the owners would suffer 
by their detention from his inability to take the vessels to sea. 
The correspondence that passed on this subject, will be found in 

Appendix IX. 



Having got safely out of the harbour, we hove-to for the boats; 
when they joined us they were hoisted up, and we made sail with a 
fine fresh trade-wind. 

I had the pleasure of being accompanied by Mr. Brinsmade, our 
worthy consul, and my friend Dr. G. P. Judd, both of whom volun- 
teered to accompany me in the novel and arduous enterprise I was 
about to undertake. The former hoped to improve his health, which 
had suffered from long confinement in the warm zone of the islands, 
by the invigorating mountain air ; the latter was desirous to share our 
troubles and fatigues, and undertook to act as our physician, inter- 
preter, adviser, and manager of the natives. To him the Expedition 
is much indebted for his exertions and enthusiasm. Besides this, 
I feel personally under great obligations, and take pleasure in making 
my acknowledgments here for his hospitality, and the kindness received 
from himself and family while at Honolulu, and for the information 
I derived from him relative to the islands. We had, also, with us 
as interpreters, several graduates of the high-school at Lahaina, whom 
I thought necessary in the management of the natives we were about 
to employ. 

Believing that we should be much more likely to obtain favourable 
winds to the northward, I determined to pass between the islands of 
Molokai and Oahu. 

We now began to find that our new men, the Kanakas, required 
much attention; many of them were sea-sick, and, true to their former 
habits, it was difficult to arouse or induce them to exert themselves. 
They began to recover in a few days ; but though well-disposed men, 
they are unfitted for service in men-of-war. They do very well when 
they are working in small parties, but are inclined to be idle, and dis- 
posed to let others do all the work. It is, also, extremely difficult to 
infuse into them a proper degree of attention to personal cleanliness. 
To judge of those we had on board the Vincennes, they are not apt at 
learning either the language or the ideas necessary for sailors. The 
greater portion of them were found very timid, and they did not like to 
venture aloft. The only place in which we found them useful was in 
boats, for they were more in their element while in the water than out of 
it. One or two serious accidents, however, were near occurring to the 
officers in boats, while passing through the reefs, from the desire of the 
Kanakas to avoid danger by jumping overboard, and taking to swim- 
ming, thus leaving the boat exposed in perilous situations. On the 
whole, I was disappointed with them, and would prefer to go weak- 
handed rather than again resort to such aid, although I must do them 

MAUNA LO A. 113 

the justice to say they were extremely willing, and when pulling at an 
oar, serviceable enough. They suit the whale-ships, I am told, admira- 
bly, working steadily and well, and are fearless in the chase. They 
are at all times well disposed to do what they are shown or under- 
stand ; but, as I before said, their capacity is very limited. Their 
Hawaiian names were too difficult for the sailors to adopt, and they 
very soon had others given them, that arose from personal peculiari- 
ties, or from some whim of the sailors with whom they messed ; and 
they were consequently seldom called by their real names, except at 

During our progress to Waiakea, or Hilo Bay, we had light variable 
winds, with heavy dews at night. On the 8th we made Mauna Kea, 
then about fifty miles distant, subtending an angle of two degrees : it 
was capped with snow. As we approached the island, we had, also, a 
view of Mauna Loa, with the cloud resting over the volcano of Kilauea, 
the scene of our future adventures. 

The next morning we found ourselves close in with the land, and at 
eleven o'clock received a pilot on board, John Ely, who proved to be 
an old shipmate of mine in the Guerriere frigate in 1820; but we had 
both lost the recollection of each other : I had grown into manhood, and 
he had been dwelling, as he said, among the ignorant savages of the 

For three or four hours we had baffling winds ; but after 3 p. M. the 
sea-breeze came up and wafted us into the bay, which we reached at 
half-past four, and dropped our anchor in five and a half fathoms, with 
muddy bottom. 

This bay is little protected from the sea, and is almost an open road- 
stead. It has, however, an extensive sunken coral reef to seaward, 
which is too shoal to allow of the passage of vessels over, and affords 
some protection against the rolling sea ; a vessel therefore usually lies 
quiet, unless it is blowing strong outside. There is no danger in enter- 
ing the bay ; all that is required is to avoid the west point of the reef, 
and on passing it to haul to the southward. We found the best anchor- 
age on the east side of the bay, where Cocoa-nut Island and the most 
eastern point are in range. 

In sailing towards Hilo Bay, Hawaii has but few of the characters 
that indicate a volcanic origin. In this respect it resembles Savaii, in 
the Samoan Group ; and the resemblance has been the cause of what 
is in fact the same name having been given to both. The two words 
differ no more in spelling and sound, than has arisen from the long 
separation of two families of the same race and language. Many of 
the points and headlands present a like similarity in name, and strengthen 

VOL. IV. K2 15 

114 M AUNA LOA. 

the conviction of the common origin of the inhabitants of the two 

To one unacquainted with the great height of the mountains of 
Hawaii, this island might appear of comparatively small elevation, for 
its surface rises gradually from the sea, uniform and unbroken; no 
abrupt spurs or angular peaks are to be seen, and the whole is apparently 
clothed with a luxuriant vegetation. 

The scene which the island presents as viewed from the anchorage 
in Hilo Bay, is both novel and splendid : the shores are studded with 
extensive groves of cocoa-nut and bread-fruit trees, interspersed with 
plantations of sugar-cane ; through these, numerous streams are seen 
hurrying to the ocean ; to this succeeds a belt of some miles in width, 
free from woods, but clothed in verdure ; beyond is a wider belt of 
forest, whose trees, as they rise higher and higher from the sea, change 
their characters from the vegetation of the tropics to that of polar re- 
gions ; and above all tower the snow-capped summits of the mountains. 

From this point of view, Mauna Kea, distant about thirty-five miles, 
has the appearance of being by much the highest mountain on the 
island ; while Mauna Loa, distant sixty miles, and rounded at its sum- 
mit to the shape of a regular dome, requires an effort of reason to 
satisfy the observer that it really has as great an elevation. A con- 
viction that this is the case may be reached by tracing with the eye the 
edge of the forest that encircles both mountains, and noting how large 
a portion of the dome of Mauna Loa rises above the woody region. 

No snow was visible to the naked eye on Mauna Loa, but with a 
telescope it was seen scattered here and there on its rounded summit. 
The appearance of this mountain is so deceptive, that one would not 
suppose it to have half its real altitude ; and it might easily be passed 
unnoticed, so unpretending is its aspect. From Hilo, Mauna Loa looks 
as if one might walk over its smooth surface without difficulty ; there 
is, indeed, so much optical deception in respect to this mountain, that 
it served to give us all great encouragement, and we set about making 
our preparations with a determination to succeed in the attempt to reach 
its highest summit. The position of the crater of Kilauea was denoted 
by the silvery cloud which hangs over it by day; which, as evening 
closed in, was, by the glare of the fires burning beneath, made visible 
throughout the night. 

My time was now actively employed in establishing the observatory 
at Waiakea Point, for rating the chronometers, and in arranging the 

* This subject will form a part of the report of Mr. Hale, the Philologist to the Expedi- 
tion, to which I refer for a full investigation of it, and of its bearing upon the migrations of 
the Polynesian tribes. 


instruments to carry on simultaneous observations with our mountain 
party. I had also a house built after the native fashion, in order that 
some of the officers might be engaged upon the charts. 

Waiakea Point is situated on the opposite side of the bay from Hilo. 
The distance between them is a little more than a mile, and the path 
leads along a sandy beach, on which the surf continually breaks, arid 
at times with great violence. 

Hilo is a straggling village, and is rendered almost invisible by the 
luxuriant growth of the sugar-cane, which the natives plant around 
their houses. A good road has been made through it for the extent 
of a mile, at one end of which the mission establishment is situated. 
This consists of several houses, most of which are of modern style, 
covered with zinc and shingles. One of them, however, the residence 
of the Rev. Mr. Coan, was very differently built, and derived impor- 
tance in our eyes, from its recalling the associations of home. It was 
an old-fashioned, prim, red Yankee house, with white sills and case- 
ments, and double rows of small windows. No one could mistake the 
birthplace of the architect, and although thirty degrees nearer the 
equator than the climate whence its model was drawn, I could not but 
think it as well adapted to its new as to its original station. 

The whole settlement forms a pretty cluster ; the paths and road- 
sides are planted with pine-apples; the soil is deep and fertile, and 
through an excess of moisture, yields a rank vegetation. 

The church is of mammoth dimensions, and will, it is said, accom- 
modate as many as seven thousand persons. It is now rapidly falling 
into decay, and another is in progress of erection. Many of the native 
houses are surrounded with bread-fruit and cocoa-nut trees, and have a 
fine view of the bay. 

During our passage from Oahu, it was arranged that each of the 
natives employed by us should be designated by a tin disk, in order to 
keep them in some sort of order or discipline. These were painted of 
different colours, so that the wearers might be known to us and 
mustered, without having recourse to their names or asking any ques- 
tions. It was intended to divide them into companies of fifty, with a 
petty chief and one of our interpreters to each. Dr. Judd very kindly 
arranged all the preliminaries with Pea, the king's agent for the district 
of Hilo, and the keeper of his fish-ponds, whom his majesty Kameha- 
meha had authorized to employ people for our service. The natives 
had consequently been ordered to assemble and assist us as we might 
require. The king had likewise ordered a large number of hogs to be 
collected as a present, and Pea was further instructed to make a pro- 
vision of taro, poe, &c. 


In consequence of these arrangements, the natives assembled, and 
were divided into companies ; the terms of their employment were 
agreed on, for taking loads to the mountain and bringing them back ; 
their names and numbers were all entered in a book by the scribes, as 
we termed the interpreters, or Lahaina scholars. At the head of these 
scribes was one Kalumo, a young man of great intelligence, but some- 
what, as we soon found, inclined to dissipation. 

The articles of every description were now arranged in loads, some 
for one native, others for two, and a few of the heavy and large ones 
for four. Each of these loads had a number attached to it ; and they 
were, previous to the day of departure, arranged in proper order. The 
time fixed for setting out was Monday, the 14th of December. 

Beside about two hundred natives, the party consisted of Lieutenant 
Budd, Passed Midshipman Eld, Midshipman Elliott, Mr. Brinsmade, 
Dr. Pickering, Mr. Brackenridge, Dr. Judd, myself, and ten men, 
including our servants from the ship. This was a large party ; but 
when it is considered, that besides our instruments, tents, &c., pro- 
visions were to be carried, it will not be considered so disproportionate, 
especially as it generally requires one-third of the number, if not more, 
to carry provisions for the rest. 

Having arranged every thing with Lieutenant Carr, who was left in 
charge of the ship, for the duties to be performed by him, I set out, at 
an early hour, to join the host at the Point. Here I found every thing 
in confusion ; our chief scribe, Kalumo, who had the books containing 
the lists, was missing, and there was an uproar resembling that of 
Bedlam. Having very willingly committed all the arrangements, as 
well as the management of the natives, to Dr. Judd, I had nothing to 
do but to look on. 

In consequence of the absence of Kalumo, the natives had an oppor- 
tunity of trying the weight of some of the bundles, and before he was 
forthcoming, many of the lightest loads had very adroitly been carried 
off. No person who has not seen a large collection of South Sea 
natives, can imagine the noise and confusion that prevailed. Many 
natives belonging to Kanuha's district had not been engaged, and 
were of course on the spot, to look on, talk, and dispute. 

In consequence of the conduct of Kalumo, it was soon found that 
there would be many loads for which we had no bearers, and these 
were, of course, all those of bulk and weight ; but how to remedy this 
state of things was beyond our power to conceive. To stop those 
who had gone on, and oblige them to return, was impossible. Several 
hours in the day had already been employed in making up the loads. 
and the day was fast wearing away; for two o'clock had now arrived. 


Recourse was therefore had to Kanuha, the chief of Hilo, who had the 
name of being a great extortioner. He came, and as he well under- 
stood our situation, showed his modesty in asking only twice as much 
as had been promised to those who had gone before. There was, how- 
ever, no remedy, and the bargain was made ; but it was some conso- 
lation that the loads his people took were twice as heavy as those the 
others bore. 

It was amusing to see how this chief operated with his people. 
Numbers of bearers were soon obtained, and the loads sent off without 
any further difficulty. The character of Kanuha for energy had not 
been acquired without some reason, and his authority over those be- 
longing to his district was fully evident. I was delighted when I saw 
the last package off, and the whole of the bearers winding their way 
on the road for the mountain. The officers who had been assigned to 
the different detachments, received orders not to suffer any to stray 
from the path. 

At a short distance from Waiakea, we passed the royal fish-ponds, 
from which, during our stay at Hilo, by order of the king, my table 
was constantly supplied with the fine fresh-water mullet that had been 
taken from the sea when small, as before described. I have frequently 
had an opportunity of tasting both kinds at the same meal ; and I was 
not quite so well convinced of the superiority of the fresh over the 
salt-water fish as the natives appear to be. The difference, however, 
may be much greater when they are eaten raw, which is the favourite 
mode of the natives, and which I had not curiosity sufficient to induce 
me to attempt. 

In and around these ponds is a very fine species of duck, of which 
we obtained many. . The natives have a mode of catching them which 
is ingenious : a string is tied to a small stick two or three inches in 
length, and the other end to a stone of two or three pounds weight, 
which lies on the bottom of the pond. The stick, which floats on the 
surface, is baited with a small fish, which the duck pounces upon, and 
swallows : in attempting to fly away, the stick is crossed in the throat, 
so that the duck, who is unable to carry off the stone, is secured. 

In two hours, we had travelled about five miles, and had ascended 
five hundred feet. The road proved tolerably good, although it 
scarcely admitted two persons to walk abreast. 

We passed the hill, described by Lord Byron's party, which it 
would have been difficult to recognise had it not been pointed out, on 
account of its gradual rise. This hill afforded a magnificent view of 
Hilo Bay, and of the surrounding country below us. 

Six miles from Hilo we entered the first wood, and at 6 p. M. we 

118 MAUN A LOA. 

passed, at eight miles distance, the chasm that divides the Hilo from 
the Puna district. As the darkness set in, we began to experience the 
difficulties we had anticipated from our late start : the bustle and noise 
became every moment more audible along the whole line as the night 
advanced: what added not a little to our discomfort, was the bad road 
we now had to encounter, rendered worse as each native passed on in 
the tracks of those preceding him, until at last it became in places 
quite miry. 

We continued on, however, until we found most of the natives had 
come to a stand, and were lying about among the grass by the road- 
side near a few grass-houses. One of these was hired for our accom- 
modation and to protect us from the heavy dew, to which the natives 
seemed accustomed : here we proposed to stay until the moon arose, 
and in the interim to get what little rest we could. 

After it became sufficiently light we again set out with a part of our 
host. The cloud of the volcano of Kilauea lay before us like a pillar 
of fire, to guide us on our way. We reached Olaa, 'the habitation of 
Pea, about half-past four. 

Here we found Messrs. Waldron and Drayton, who had preceded 
us, taking their breakfast on a large round of boeuf d. la mode and 
coffee, in which we all cheerfully joined. We concluded to stop here 
until eight o'clock, to allow time for the natives to cook their food and 
serve out the rations of poe. 

It will scarcely be possible to form a full idea of our company : that 
of my Lord Byron is described as a sort of triumphal procession ; 
ours was very different from this, and was more allied to a May-day 
morning in New York, or a vast caravan. It consisted, as my friend 
Dr. Judd informed me, of two hundred bearers of burdens, forty hogs, 
a bullock and bullock-hunter, fifty bearers of poe (native food), twenty- 
five with calabashes, of different sizes and shapes, from two feet to 
six inches in diameter. Some of the bearers had large and small 
panels of the portable house on their backs ; others, frying-pans or 
kettles ; and others, tents or knapsacks. Then there were lame horses, 
which, instead of carrying their riders, were led by them ; besides a 
large number of hangers-on, in the shape of mothers, wives, and 
children, equalling in number the bearers, all grumbling and com- 
plaining of their loads ; so that wherever and whenever we stopped, 
confusion and noise ensued. I felt happy in not understanding the 
language, and of course was deaf to their complaints. It was very 
evident that the loads were unequally divided ; and I must do the 
natives the justice to say, they had reason to complain, not of us, but 
of each other. It was impossible for the thing to be remedied at once, 


although it was not a little provoking to see several natives staggering 
under their loads, while one or two would be skipping along with a 
few pounds' weight only. At first, many of them preferred the hog- 
driving business ; but I understood that they afterwards found out that 
it was no sinecure to drive a hog either of large or small size, and 
still less so to have charge of the bullock, who was half wild. The 
terror and fright he produced among the natives, proved a source of 
much amusement to us ; and some droll scenes took place as the 
natives rushed in all directions to get beyond the reach of his horns, 
throwing down their loads without regard to the consequences. This 
was, however, prevented afterwards, by sending on the bullock, with 
his attaches or drivers, in front. 

I found Olaa to be one thousand one hundred and thirty-eight feet 
above the level of the sea ; and the temperature there was 72. 

While we were getting a slight nap, Dr. Judd was engaged in 
superintending the distribution of food to the multitude, during which 
time much confusion and noise existed. The natives put me in mind 
of wild beasts in this respect ; they seldom make any noise unless their 
appetite and ease are in some way concerned. 

Among the party we had several white men as interpreters, besides 
our native guides, who formed as it were a connecting link between 
ourselves and the natives proper. The whole was in keeping, for all 
had set out for a hard and rough journey ; and knowing we had an 
arduous task to perform, we were all appropriately clothed for work. 

The dress of the natives consisted of the maro and a light piece 
of tapa-cloth, worn as a shawl, which, when working, was usually 
wrapped around their bodies. In order to protect the feet, they were 
each furnished with a pair of raw-hide sandals, which they tie on their 
feet as boys do their skates. These are put on so as to cover the 
palms of the feet. For want of hide, some made sandals of ti-leaves, 
which answer the purpose quite as well for a time, though they are not 
so durable, and walking in them causes an awkward gait. 

The whole company was a sort of mob, each moving after his own 
fashion., and straggling occasionally out of the path to save a few 
yards of distance. The chief Pea and his body-guard brought up the 
rear, to pick up stragglers and assist the weary. 

After leaving Olaa, we had no distinct path to follow ; for the whole 
surface became a mass of lava, which retained all its metallic lustre, 
and appeared as if it had but just run over the ground so small was 
the action of decomposition. There were only a few stunted bushes 
on our track ; but some dense patches of wood were observed on the 


right. The day was warm, with a bright sun ; and when we passed 
pools of water standing in the lava rock, as we frequently did, the 
natives would rush into them like overheated dogs, and seemed to 
enjoy the temporary coolness brought about by the evaporation. 

The lava had a peculiar metallic appearance, and had evidently run 
over the surface in a melted state. The natives call this smooth kind 
pahoihoi, which is the same word they use for satin. This, after 
running smooth for some distance, would assume a wrinkled or wavy 
form, showing that the mass had been pressed forward, in cooling. 
The melted rocky stream, in places where the descent was rapid, 
appears to have been urged forward with some velocity, and as the 
surface cooled and became fixed, the melted matter has run out from 
beneath, leaving a kind of trench or tunnel, which, in some places, is of 
considerable size. The localities of the tunnels are pointed out by the 
hollow sound experienced in passing over them. 

At 3 p. M., we reached Kapuauhi, which consists of a few houses, 
and is about fifteen miles from Olaa. The temperature, on our arrival, 
was found to be 80 in the shade, while in the sun it stood at 84 ; the 
whole extent around was black lava; indeed there was no place where 
we could pitch a tent of six feet by eight, and as it looked like rain 
we concluded to occupy one of the houses that was offered to us ; but 
it taught us a lesson we remembered for some time, for all our blankets 
and clothes became infested with fleas, and those of the most voracious 

Dr. Judd, finding that some of the natives were overloaded, sent 
back for a reserve of thirty men, to overtake us as soon as possible. 
Several of the packages were unwieldy, and others, though small, 
were much complained of; among the latter was a small iron mortar, 
or eprouvette, which I was taking up to try some experiments on 
sound, in the rarefied air: this had been a great pest to the natives, 
and they had made every endeavour to get rid of it. As there was 
some difficulty in getting our host awake, and ready for a move 
betimes, it was proposed that the mortar should be fired at early 
dawn : although small, yet with a well-adjusted plug driven into it, it 
made the noise of a great gun. It was accordingly fired the next 
morning to the wonder of all, and soon aroused the mob. Such was 
the effect this had upon the bearers of it, that no more complaints 
were uttered, and they joyfully shouldered their burden, having be- 
come men of great consequence in the eyes of their fellows, and sub- 
jects of the day's talk. Many now would have exchanged loads for 
the honour of being the bearers of it. 


The height \ve had now attained was two thousand one hundred 
and eighty-four feet ; the thermometer, 72 ; the lowest temperature in 
the night, 58. A slight shower of rain fell during the night. 

At 8 A. M., we left Kapuauhi, or what our company called " Flea 
Hall," after having passed a most comfortless night. Nothing could 
be more annoying than the swarms of fleas that attacked us, and I 
believe all the native houses are thus unpleasantly infested. In about 
three hours we reached the Okea tree, known as the boundary of the 
territory of Pele, or the goddess of the volcano. In bygone days no 
native dared venture beyond it without an offering to Pele, under 
penalty of her vengeance. Many strange traditions are told of her, 
and of the combats she waged with the ancient warriors of the island, 
in which she destroyed whole armies by her " floods of fire." Dr. 
Judd and myself, while at the volcano, listened to one of these long 
traditions from a young man named Kiwe, a descendant of one of the 
" tradition bearers," who were employed specially to hand down the 
traditions in their family, and were thus the depositaries of the oral 
archives of the nation. Kiwe came from Panau, in the neighbour- 
hood of this district of fire, and we were, of course, very desirous of 
obtaining any information he could give. As he had come to offer 
himself as guide, he was sent for to our hut, and was asked to take a 
seat. Kalumo, the chief scribe, before spoken of, was sent for, and 
began to question him relative to the traditions. Kiwe began by 
describing various great chiefs and their genealogies, but nothing 
relating to their feats or actions, except that the great chief of Papa- 
pala and the goddess Pele had quarrelled about a surf-board, which 
ended in his being consumed, after having attempted to cross the fiery 
lake upon it. Many interrogatories were put to him, but he soon 
became sullen and refused to answer ; he told us he had discovered 
our intention, and that he knew we were going to put what he said in 
a book, that every body might read it, and therefore he would give us 
no further information. This I hope will be received as a sufficient 
apology for my not giving the histories and details of these marvellous 
personages ; for, according to Kiwe, by relating them he would lose 
his occupation as soon as they were printed. 

Soon after we left Kapuauhi, we met with soil formed upon the lava 
by volcanic ashes ; the bushes became thicker and more thrifty, rising 
into small trees ; quantities of strawberry-vines were perceived, but 
the natives searched in vain for some straggling fruit. The time for 
its bearing had passed, but they are said to be found in great abun- 
dance, and of very fine flavour, at the proper season. Okea was the 
principal wood, and there was some koa (Acacia). A curious plant 

VOL. IV. L 16 


was pointed out, the sap of which blisters the skin, and with which 
the inhabitants produce a sort of tattooing in large and small round 
lumps. I did not learn how durable they were. This plant is called 

Our course, since we left our resting-place, was nearly south-south- 
west, and the inclination on which we ascended was not as rapid as it 
had been. The country on our left was one entire rock, while that to 
the right was still occupied by the line of forest I have before spoken 
of, which bounded our view to the west. 

Just as we reached the great plain of the volcano, we approached 
the southern limit of the wood, and, on turning its corner, Mauna Loa 
burst upon us in all its grandeur. The day was extremely fine, the 
atmosphere pure and clear, except a few flying clouds, and this im- 
mense dome rose before us from a plain some twenty miles in breadth. 
I had not, until then, formed any adequate idea of its magnitude and 
height. The whole dome appeared of a bronze colour, and its unin- 
terrupted smooth outline was relieved against the deep blue of a 
tropical sky. Masses of clouds were floating around it, throwing their 
shadows distinctly on its sides, to which they gave occasional relief 
and variety. There was a bluish haze resting on the plain, that appa- 
rently gave it great distance, though this was partially counteracted 
by the distinctiveness of the dome. I now, for the first time, felt the 
magnitude of the task I had undertaken. 

So striking was the mountain, that I was surprised and disappointed 
when called upon by my friend, Dr. Judd, to look at the volcano ; for 
I saw nothing before us but a huge pit, black, ill-looking, and totally 
different from what I had anticipated. There were no jets of fire, no 
eruptions of heated stones, no cones, nothing but a depression, that, in 
the midst of the vast plain by which it is surrounded, appeared small 
and insignificant. 

At the further end was what appeared a small cherry-red spot, 
whence vapour was issuing, and condensing above into a cloud of 
silvery brightness. This cloud, however, was more glorious than any 
I had ever beheld, and the sight of it alone would have repaid for the 
trouble of coming thus far. 

We hurried to the edge of the cavity, in order to get a view of its 
interior, and as we approached, vapour issuing from numerous cracks, 
showed that we were passing over ground beneath which fire was 
raging. The rushing of the wind past us was as if it were dnnvn 
inwards to support the combustion of some mighty conflagration. 

When the edge is reached, the extent of the cavity becomes appa- 
rent, and its depth became sensible by comparison with the figures of 

M A U N A L O A. 123 

some of our party who had already descended. The vastness thus 
made sensible, transfixes the mind with astonishment, and every in- 
stant the impression of grandeur and magnitude increases. To give 
an idea of its capacity, the city of New York might be placed within 
it, and when at its bottom would be hardly noticed, for it is three and 
a half miles long, two and a half wide, and over a thousand feet deep. 
A black ledge surrounds it at the depth of six hundred and sixty feet, 
and thence to the bottom is three hundred and eighty-four feet. The 
bottom looks, in the daytime, like a heap of smouldering ruins. The 
descent to the ledge appears to the sight a short and easy task, but it 
takes an hour to accomplish. 

We pitched our tents in full view of the volcano, on its western 
side, and the natives busied themselves in building temporary huts to 
shelter them from the cold blast that rushed by. All this was accom- 
plished, and we had time to take another view of the crater before 

All usual ideas of volcanic craters are dissipated upon seeing this. 
There is no elevated cone, no igneous matter or rocks ejected beyond 
the rim. The banks appear as if built of massive blocks, which are 
in places clothed with ferns, nourished by the issuing vapours. 

What is wonderful in the day, becomes ten times more so at night. 
The immense pool of cherry-red liquid lava, in a state of violent ebul- 
lition, illuminates the whole expanse, and flows in all directions like 
water, while the illuminated cloud hangs over it like a vast canopy. 

The bank near us was covered with half-naked natives, two hun- 
dred or more in number, all gazing, with affrighted looks and savage 
wonder, on this surprising phenomenon. Their ancestors would 
not have dared thus to look upon and into this dreaded abode of 
the malicious goddess Pele, never having approached it without the 
greatest fear and awe, and then only to deliver their offering by 
casting it into the burning pool, to secure a safe transit through her 

We sat on its northern bank for a long time in silence, until one of 
the party proposed we should endeavour to reach the bank nearest to 
and over the lake; and having placed ourselves under the direction of 
Mr. Drayton, we followed him along the edge of the western bank ; 
but although he had been over the ground the day before, he now lost 
his way, and we found ourselves still on the upper bank, after walk- 
ing two or three miles. We then resolved to return to the first 
place that appeared suitable for making a descent, and at last one 
was found, which, however, proved steep and rugged. In the dark- 
ness we got many a fall, and received numerous bruises; but we 


were too near the point of our destination to turn back without 
fully satisfying our curiosity. We finally reached the second ledge, 
and soon came to the edge of it ; we were then directly over the pool 
or lake of fire, at the distance of about five hundred feet above it, and 
the light was so strong that it enabled me to read the smallest print. 
This pool is fifteen hundred long by one thousand feet wide, and of an 
oval figure. 

I was struck with the absence of any noise, except a low murmuring, 
like that which is heard from the boiling of a thick liquid. The ebul- 
lition was, (as is the case where the heat is applied to one side of a 
vessel,) most violent near the northern side. The vapour and steam 
that were constantly escaping, were so rarefied as not to impede the 
view, and only became visible in the bright cloud above us, which 
seemed to sink and rise alternately. We occasionally perceived stones, 
or masses of red-hot matter, ejected to the height of about seventy feet, 
and falling back into the lake again. 

The lake was apparently rising, and wanted but a few feet of over- 
flowing its banks. When I began to reflect upon the position we were 
in, its insecurity, and the vast and deep fires beneath, with the high 
basaltic walls encompassing us on all sides, the sulphurous fumes and 
broad glare, throwing such enormous masses of stone in strong relief 
by their own fusion, I found it difficult to comprehend how such a re- 
servoir can thus be pent up, and be viewed in such close proximity, 
without accident or danger. The whole party was perfectly silent, and 
the countenance of each individual expressed the feeling of awe and 
wonder which I felt in so great a degree myself, and which the scene 
was so well calculated to excite. 

No one can see all this and yet doubt the theory of the igneous 
fluidity of the centre of the earth. All combustible causes that we are 
acquainted with, are totally inadequate to produce such an effect. The 
whole seemed boiling up like a fountain, differing only in density and 

The apparent flow to its southern part, is only because the ebullition 
on the north side causes it to be higher, and the waves it produces con- 
sequently pass over to the opposite side. 

We returned to our tents towards midnight, much fatigued, but found 
sleep impossible after the excitement of such a scene. 

At daylight the thermometer stood at 43, and there was much de- 
posit from the steam-holes. The barometrical height of the encamp- 
ment on the west side of the crater, was found to be three thousand 
nine hundred and seventy feet. 

The mortar was again fired, and soon after a rebellion was found to 

MA UN A LOA. 125 

exist among the natives in the camp, that threatened to upset all our 
plans; and, in consequence of it, we were obliged to defer our depar- 
ture. Dr. Judd soon detected the ringleaders, one in particular, who 
was holding forth to the Kanakas, advising them, as they now had me 
in their power, to strike for higher wages ; for, if they did so, we 
should be obliged to pay them double, or any thing extra they might 
ask for. He was at once made an example of by being turned out of 
the camp, and sent away. 

This had the desired effect, and the rest signified their willingness to 
go forward ; but as many of them desired rest on account of their sore 
shoulders, we assured them we would remain for a while, provided 
there was no further difficulty. 

From this I well knew that no confidence was to be placed in the 
natives. I at once despatched an order to Lieutenant Carr, on board 
the Vincennes, to send on a detachment of fifty men, under officers, as 
quickly as possible, and likewise to forward an extra supply of provi- 
sions with them to meet our wants. 

I now employed the day in making observations for the longitude 
and latitude. Some of the officers were engaged in distributing the 
loads more equally, and others in descending into the crater. 

As I proposed remaining here a few days on my return, I deter- 
mined to await until then for the exploration of this volcano. Some 
of the observations then made will be noticed at present, that the 
nature of the lavas may be more fully understood. This day was em- 
ployed in becoming acquainted with its paths, and in making sketches. 
One made by Mr. Dray ton, with the camera lucida, is very character- 
istic, and was taken from one of the best positions for viewing this 
wonderful place, on the north bank, near its west side. These sketches 
I conceived would enable me to ascertain if any, and what, alterations 
should take place between our two visits, for I could not but imagine 
it must be constantly undergoing change. For this purpose we multi- 
plied our camera lucida drawings, and I descended again nearly to the 
black ledge for this purpose. The pathway leads down on the north- 
east side, over frightful chasms, sometimes on a mere edge of earth, 
and on rocks rent asunder to the depth of several hundred feet. 
Through these fissures steam issues, which as it reaches the upper part, 
condenses, and gives nourishment to masses of ferns, and an abun- 
dance of small bushes (Vaccinium), bearing a small berry of an agree- 
able flavour, called by the natives ohela. The descent, however, is not 
in reality difficult, except in a few places, where it requires some care 
in passing over the basaltic blocks, that are here piled in confused 
heaps. On approaching the black ledge, which from above appeared 



level and smooth, it is seen to be covered with large pieces of lava, 
rising in places into cones thirty or forty feet high, which are appa- 
rently bound down by huge tortuous masses, which surround them like 
cables. In other places these are stretched lengthwise on the level 
ledge, and look like hideous fiery serpents with black vitreous scales, 
that occasionally give out smoke, and in some cases fire. 

The immense space which I have described the crater as covering, 
is gradually filled with the fluid mass of lava to a certain point, above 
which the walls, or the surrounding soil, are no longer able to bear the 
pressure, it then finds vent by an eruption, previous to which, how- 
ever, a large part that is next to the walls of the crater has in a measure 
become cooled, and remains fixed at the level it had attained. After 
the eruption, the central mass therefore alone subsides three or four 
hundred feet, and leaves the portion that has become solid, forming a 
kind of terrace or shelf: this is what constitutes the " black ledge," 
and is one of the most striking features of the crater. Its surface is 
comparatively level, though somewhat uneven, and is generally coated 
with a vitreous and in some places a scoriaceous lava, from half an 
inch to an inch thick, very iridescent and brittle. In walking over 
this crust, it crumbles and cracks under the feet; it seems to be easily 
decomposed, and in some places had lost its lustre, having acquired a 
grayish colour and become friable. There was another variety of the 
vitreous lava, which was smooth and brittle : this occurred in the large 
hollow tunnels or trenches, the insides of which were rough, and full 
of sharp and vitreous points. On the turnings and windings small 
swellings were met, which on being broken off, had a strong resem- 
blance to the bottom of a junk-bottle ; at another place, fragments 
appeared to have been scattered around in a semi-fluid state, in an 
endless variety of shapes, and so brittle as to be preserved with diffi- 
culty. Underneath these was to be seen the real lava or basalt, as 
firm and solid as granite, with no appearance of cells, and extremely 
compact; it is seen separated into large blocks, but none that I saw 
were of a regular figure, though in some places it was thought by 
others to approach the hexagonal form. 

There is a third kind of lava, fibrous in its texture, of quite recent 
ejection, and procured from the bottom of the crater; this had some- 
what the appearance of a dark pumice, but was dense in comparison. 
On the black ledge the absence of all debris from those high perpen- 
dicular walls, cannot fail to be remarked ; we endeavoured to find in 
explanation of this, but I was not satisfied with the only one which 
presented itself. This was to suppose that the fluid mass had recently 
risen above the ledge, altogether concealing it from view, and that it 

MAUN A LOA. 127 

had entirely fused its surface. The appearances did not satisfy me 
that this had been the case, nor did the supposition account for the 
fact, that none had been collected within the last few months ; besides, 
it might be supposed that some portion of the former accumulation 
ought to have been discoverable, which it was not. 

To walk on the black ledge is not always safe, and persons who 
venture it are compelled for safety to carry a pole and feel before they 
tread over the deceitful path, as though they were moving on doubtful 
ice. The crackling noise made in walking over this crisp surface 
(like a coating of blue and yellow glass) resembles that made by tread- 
ing on frozen snow in very cold weather. Every here and there are 
seen dark pits and vaulted caverns, with heated air rushing from them. 
Large and extended cracks are passed over, the air issuing from which, 
at a temperature of 180, is almost stifling; masses are surmounted 
that it would seem as if the accumulated weight of a few persons 
would cause to topple over, and plunge the whole into the fiery pool 

On approaching the large lake at the southern end of the crater, the 
heat becomes almost too stifling to bear. I shall not soon forget my 
employment therein, in measuring a base to ascertain the extent and 
capacity of the lake, of which some account will be given hereafter. 
At about two-thirds of the distance from the north end are extensive 
sulphur banks, from the fissures in which much steam is continually 
escaping: in these fissures are seen many beautiful crystals, adhering 
to their sides; while on the bank itself, some specimens of sulphate of 
copper, in beautiful blue crystals, were found. 

From many places on the black ledge a bluish smoke was seen 
issuing, smelling strongly of sulphur, and marked by an efflorescence 
of a white tasteless powder among the cavities: this it was difficult to 
to detach without scalding the fingers. There were many cracks, 
where our sticks were set on fire, and some places in the vaulted 
chambers beneath, where the rock might be seen red hot. 

The black ledge is of various widths, from six hundred to two 
thousand feet. It extends all around the cavity, but it is seldom 
possible to pass around that portion of it near the burning lake, not 
only on account of the stifling fumes, but of the intense heat. In 
returning from the neighbourhood of the lake to the point where we 
began the ascent, we were one hour and ten minutes of what we 
considered hard walking; and in another hour we reached the top of 
the bank. This will probably give the best idea of its extent and the 
distance to be passed over in the ascent from the black ledge, which 
was found six hundred and sixty feet below the rim. 

128 MAUN A LOA. 

To the bottom of the crater, there was a descent at the northwest 
angle of the black ledge, where a portion of it had fallen in, and 
afforded an inclined plane to the bottom. This at first appeared 
smooth and easy to descend, but on trial it proved somewhat difficult, 
for there were many fissures crossing the path at right angles, which 
it was necessary to get over, and the vitreous crust was so full of 
sharp spiculse as to injure the hands and cut the shoes at every step. 
Messrs. Waldron and Drayton in their descent were accompanied by 
my dog Sydney, who had reached this distance, when his feet became 
so much wounded that they were compelled to drive him back; he 
was lamed for several days afterwards, in consequence of this short 
trip into the crater. 

These gentlemen, after much toil, finally reached the floor of the 
crater. This was afterwards found to be three hundred and eighty- 
four feet below the black ledge, making the whole depth nine hundred 
and eighty-seven feet below the northern rim. Like the black ledge, 
it was not found to have the level and even surface it had appeared 
from above to possess: hillocks and ridges, from twenty to thirty 
feet high, ran across it, and were in some places so perpendicular as 
to render it difficult to pass over them. The distance they traversed 
below was deceptive, and they had no means of ascertaining it but by 
the time it took to walk it, which was upwards of two hours, from the 
north extreme of the bottom to the margin of the large lake. It is 
extremely difficult to reach this lake, on account of its overflowing at 
short intervals, which does not allow the fluid mass time to cool. The 
nearest approach that any one of the party made to it at this time 
was about fifteen hundred or two thousand feet; they were then near 
enough to burn their shoes and light their sticks in the lava which had 
overflowed during the preceding night. 

The smaller lake was well viewed from a slight eminence: this lake 
was slightly in action; the globules, (if large masses of red fluid lava, 
several tons in weight, can be so called,) were seen heaving up at 
regular intervals, six or eight feet in height; and smaller ones were 
thrown up to a much greater elevation. At the distance of fifty feet 
no gases were to be seen, nor was any steam evident, yet a thin 
smoke-like vapour arose from the whole fluid surface: no puffs of 
smoke were perceived at any time. 

At first it seemed quite possible to pass over the congealed surface 
of the lake, to within reach of the fluid, though the spot on whu.-h 
they stood was so hot as to require their sticks to be laid down to stand 
on. This idea was not long indulged in, for in a short time the fluid 
mass began to enlarge; presently a portion would crack and exhibit 


a bright red glare; then in a few moments the lava-stream would 
issue through, and a portion would speedily split off and suddenly 
disappear in the liquid mass. This kind of action went on until the 
lake had extended itself to its outer bank, and had approached to 
within fifteen feet of their position, when the guide said it was high 
time to make a retreat. 

John, the pilot, who was now acting in the capacity of guide, was 
satisfied they had stayed long enough, and had often " repeated that 
there was no safety in the bottom of the crater for one moment," 
and that " the fire would often run over ten or more acres in a few 
moments." In such a case destruction wquld be inevitable, and from 
what I myself have seen, I can readily believe that his opinion is 
correct. The usual course is for the lake to boil over, discharge a 
certain mass, and then sink again within its limits. It is rarely seen 
to run over for more than a day at a time. 

John and the natives who are in the habit of frequenting it with 
strangers, tell many stories of the escapes they have made. 

One trip to the floor generally satisfies the most daring, and as long 
as a person remains there, he must feel in a state of great insecurity, 
and in danger of undergoing one of the most horrible of deaths, m 
being cut off from escape by the red molten fluid ; yet a hardihood is 
acquired, which is brought about by the excitement, that gives courage 
to encounter serious peril, in so novel a situation. 

One of the remarkable productions of this crater is the capillary 
glass, or, as it is here called, " Pole's hair." This is to be seen in the 
crevices like loose tufts of fine tow ; it is to be found also over all the 
plain, adhering to the bushes. The fibres of this glass are of various 
degrees of fineness ; some are crimped or frizzled, others straight, 
with small fine drops of glass at one end. These adhering to the 
berries in the neighbourhood, make one sensible of its presence in 
eating them. On the leeward side of the crater, the glass is so 
abundant that the ground, in places, appeared as if covered with 

Where Pele's hair is found in quantities, a very fine and beautiful 
pumice prevails ; it usually occurs in pieces about the size of a hazel- 
nut, of a greenish yellow colour, not unlike small pieces of new dry 
sponge, but so much lighter as to be blown about by the wind. The 
southern bank of the crater is covered with this product for some 
depth, and the sand blowing over it renders it stationary. 

The day we remained at the volcano was employed by the natives 
in preparing their food, by boiling it in the crevices on the plains from 
which the steam issues ; into these they put the taro, &c., and close the 

VOL. iv. 17 


hole up with fern-leaves, and in a short time the food was well cooked. 
All the water for drinking is obtained here by the condensation of the 
stream, which gathers in small pools, and affords a supply of sweet and 
soft water. From the numbers in the camp who used it, this supply 
became rather scanty, but it did not entirely give out. 

The crater, at night, was extremely beautiful, and we sat for a long 
time watching its changing and glowing pool. The shadows thrown 
by the walls of the crater seemed to reach the heavens, and gave it the 
appearance of being clothed in a dark cloud ; but on looking at it 
more attentively, and shutting off the glare of the crater, the stars were 
perceived shining brightly. 

About four o'clock a loud report was heard from the direction of the 
boiling lake, which proved to have been caused by a large projecting 
point of the black ledge near the lake having fallen in and disappeared. 

The lowest temperature, during the night, was 48. There was a 
light wind and no dew. 

At daw r n on the morning of the 18th, the signal called us to make 
preparations for our journey, and as all things had now been more 
systematically arranged, we anticipated less difficulty in our onward 
journey. The natives seemed to be all in good spirits, and moved with 

Our camp hitherto (as all camps are) had been beset with hangers- 
on, in the shape of wives, mothers, and children, who were not only 
much in the way of those to whom they belonged, but were great con- 
sumers of the food the natives had supplied themselves with for the 
journey. As we already entertained apprehensions of a scarcity 
prompt measures were taken by Dr. Judd to get rid of our troublesome 
guests, which we succeeded in doing, though not without some diffi- 
culty, and a low monotonous growling, that indicated much displeasure 
on the part of the fair sex. 

The divisions now set off, and our host was less mob-like, partly 
owing to the impossibility of going in squads, the paths having become 
more contracted. 

The water that I have mentioned as being found in the small pools, 
the product of condensation, was exhausted before we left the crater. 
This was in consequence of the natives having filled their calabashes; 
and we had particularly instructed our servants and the sailors to do 
the same. The former provided themselves; but the latter, sailor-like, 
preferred to take their chance of meeting with it on the road, rat'ier 
than carry a load for their future supply. I discovered, after we 
started, that they were unprovided, but was informed that there was, 
within about two miles, an old canoe which \vould be found full of 


water. On our arrival at it, we found that the natives, who had pre- 
ceded us, after supplying themselves had emptied out the rest. 

Our route was taken at first and for a few miles in a due west line, 
for the top of Mauna Loa, over the extensive plain surrounding the 
volcano ; it then deviated to the southward, over an ancient lava-bed, 
very much broken, that appeared never to have been traversed before. 
We now became for the first time acquainted with clinkers. To 
describe these, it is merely necessary to say, they are like the scoria 
from a foundry, only instead of being the size of the fist, they are from 
one to ten feet square, and armed on all sides with sharp points ; they 
are for the most part loose, and what makes them still more dangerous, 
is that a great deal of the vitreous lava is among them. Of the origin 
of these immense masses and their extent, I shall have occasion to 
speak hereafter : suffice it for the present to say, there never was more 
difficult or unpleasant ground to travel over. 

Our guide Puhano of Puna, who we understood had accompanied 
Douglass and Lowenstern on their ascents, now took the lead, but it 
soon appeared that he knew little of the route. I therefore, in company 
with Mr. Brinsmade, took the lead, compass in hand ; and after walking 
over the broken and torn-up ground, we turned again towards the hill- 
side, and began a rapid ascent through a belt of long grass, where the 
rock was covered with white clay, and seldom to be seen. This part 
appeared to have suffered much from drought; for in passing along we 
came to several narrow and dry water-courses, but met with no water. 

At two o'clock we had nearly reached the upper limit of the woods, 
and as the clouds began to pass over, and obscure the path, we deter- 
mined to halt and encamp. We made several fires along the route, in 
order to guide those behind, and as a mark for the stragglers; bushes 
were also broken off, and their tops laid in the direction we were going, 
by the natives ; and I likewise had the trees blazed, as a further indica- 
tion, well known to our men. Chronometer sights were taken here, 
and the altitude by barometer was five thousand and eighty-six feet. 

During the day, the reason that had induced the natives to empty 
the water out from the canoe, became evident in their anxiety to sell 
us water. My friend the consul had hired an especial bearer for his 
calabash of water, determining that he would have a sufficient supply. 
By our watching and cautioning the old man who had it in charge, 
he became somewhat alarmed and unsteady, as I thought also from 
fatigue. When he had arrived within a short distance of the camp, 
he stumbled on a smooth place, fell, and broke the calabash into 
numerous pieces. Those who were coming up, seeing the accident, 
rushed to partake of its contents, but the fluid quickly disappeared in 


the loose and absorbent lava. This was a dreadful blow to my friend's 
feelings, and produced much laughter among us, in which the consul 
himself at length joined; although I must confess I was somewhat of 
his opinion, that it had been done designedly, either to secure the sale 
of that belonging to others, or to get rid of the load, which had been a 
great annoyance and trouble to the bearer all day, and for which he 
had already been paid. 

On the baggage coming up, Mr. Eld reported a deserter, who was 
brought up for trial, and an investigation had, in order to make an 
example of him. He was a swarthy and diminutive-looking person, 
with rather a good countenance, but it was just then so distorted with 
fright, that it was impossible to look at him without laughing. It 
appeared that he had been left by his chief at the crater, to superin- 
tend some hogs and provisions that belonged to the party; while thus 
employed, Mr. Eld, the officer in charge of the rear, wanted another 
person to carry on the clock-case, as one of the four that were at- 
tached to it had not been forthcoming ; he in consequence had pressed 
the culprit into the service against his will, taking him from the station 
where his chief had placed him. On the route over some of the 
roughest part, seeing this man somewhat fatigued, Mr. Eld kindly 
relieved him for a few moments, of which he took advantage and 
disappeared. Mr. Eld immediately left the load and gave chase, but 
in a few moments he stumbled and fell over the clinkers, by which he 
received a contusion on the knee; rising with the prospect of having 
to aid in transporting the clock, he discovered the delinquent concealed 
under a neighbouring bush, and immediately forced him to return to 
his load, and thus brought him on. Mr. Eld, on hearing the facts of 
the case told by the native, interceded in his behalf, and Dr. Judd, 
after giving him an admonition, set him at liberty to return to his 
charge at the volcano. 

We were now for a long time enveloped in mist, for we had reached 
the region of clouds. The thermometer at 6 p. M., stood at 54 ; the 
dew-point at 44. Instead of trade-winds from the northeast, we had 
a mountain breeze from the west, which caused the temperature to fall 
to 43, and produced a feeling of great cold, being a fall of forty 
degrees since we left the coast. 

The men whom we had hired just before leaving Hilo, belonged, 
as will be recollected, to Kanuha's district, and engaged to find them- 
selves in food; but many of them had been so improvident of th^ir 
supply that it was now found to be gone, and as many as twenty of 
them were without any thing to eat. When this became known, we 
proposed to supply them with rations at the original cost of the poe, 


which we had for the men hired of Pea; but no argument would 
induce them to accept it on these terms, and they went round begging 
and borrowing all they could from those who were supplied. The 
reason that they would not buy the poe I found was, the dislike they 
had to take up any of their wages before the whole became due, and 
in consequence many of them went hungry. It was amusing to watch 
some of these, who frequently would seat themselves near a party 
who were eating ; but it did not produce any effect upon those who 
had plenty, as they knew the reason of their being without food. 
From what I saw of these islanders on this trip, I am not disposed to 
believe them so hospitable, or so thoughtful of each other, as the Tahi- 
tians or Samoans. Selfishness is a predominant trait in the character 
of the Hawaiians, and when they are thus associated together, it 
shows itself more strongly than at other times. 

At sunrise on the 19th, we had the temperature at 48. 
As the ascent was now becoming laborious, we selected and left the 
things we had no immediate use for, to follow us by easy stages. We 
then took a diagonal direction through the remaining portion of the 
woods. By one o'clock we had lost all signs of trees, and were sur- 
rounded by low scraggy bushes : the change of vegetation became 
evident, not only in species, but in size ; we also passed through exten- 
sive patches that had been destroyed by fire. Sandalwood was seen, 
not as a tree, but a low shrub. 

During the day we had passed extensive caves, in all of which I 
had search made for water. These often lead a long distance under 
ground, and some of the men passed in at one end and out at another. 
Intending to stop on Sunday not far above these caves, calabash- 
tops were left in one or two where water was found to be dropping, in 
hopes by this means to procure a small supply ; but on returning the 
next day, it was found that very little had accumulated. These caves 
or tunnels had apparently been caused by a flow of lava down the side 
of the mountain, which on cooling had left the upper part arched or 
vaulted, the fluid running off at its lower extremity or opening and 
spreading itself over the surface. The opening into them was formed 
by the roof having fallen in, and partly blocked up the tunnel. At no 
great distance from the opening, the floor on each side was smooth 
and closely resembled the flow of the lava on the surface. These 
openings were usually known by the quantity of raspberry and other 
bushes around them ; and they reminded me of the caverns in limestone 

Between two and three o'clock, we again became enveloped in 
clouds, and it was necessary for us to redouble our precautions against 



losing the track. Fires were again resorted to, which at short dis- 
tances could be seen in the intervals of mist. 

Deeming it advisable to make an early halt, we stopped shortly after 
three o'clock, to allow all the baggage to come up. Notwithstanding 
the size of our party, there was no perceptible track left or any thing 
by which to he guided, but the smoke of the fires, or occasionally a 
broken shrub, as a finger-post. All the ground was hard metallic- 
looking lava, and around nothing but a dreary waste. The voice too 
became fainter, as the atmosphere grew more rarefied. Our encamp- 
ment was called the Sunday Station, on account of our having re- 
mained quietly here on that day. The altitude given by the barometer 
was six thousand and seventy-one feet, at which we found ourselves 
above the region of clouds, and could look down upon them. 

At night, on pulling off my clothes, I noticed the quantity of electri- 
cal fluid elicited, which continued for some time to affect the objects 
about me, particularly a large guanaco-robe I had to sleep in. 

This afternoon, we found that it would be impossible to drive the 
bullock any further ; for the animal began to suffer from fatigue 
and the want of water, our supply of which was almost exhausted ; 
he was accordingly killed. The natives were now hawking water 
about the camp at half a dollar the quart. I am not aware that 
they sold any at that extravagant price ; but I saw some of them in 
possession of handkerchiefs and old shirts, which I understood had been 
given for it. 

Ragsdale, one of our guides, who had been despatched to Papapala 
from the crater to purchase provisions, now joined us, with two more 
guides. He brought information that he had obtained forty goats, 
and that we should receive full supplies. This was encouraging news, 
for I felt somewhat doubtful from the first in relying on the natives, 
and their behaviour at Kilauea was not calculated to raise my opinion 
of them. I found also, as we ascended the mountain, that even light 
loads had become heavy, and those of any weight, insupportable ; that 
our time was rapidly passing, and we had a long way yet before we 
reached the summit; and that the native food was nearly exhausted, 
while the supply for our own men was rapidly consuming. 

The two guides that Ragsdale brought with him, were perfectly fa- 
miliar with the mountain. One of them was a celebrated bird-catcher, 
called Keaweehu, who had been the guide of Lowenstern, and knew 
where water was to be obtained ; but it was ten miles distant. He 
said, that if he was furnished with calabashes and natives to carry 
them, he would be able to bring us a supply by the afternoon, if he left 
before the day dawned ; and that it would be two days before we could 


get any snow, even if it were found on the mountain. It had never 
crossed my mind, that there was any probability of this latter re- 
source failing us ; I had in truth relied upon it with confidence, and 
concluded that in the event of only one snow-storm we should be en- 
abled to find some place for a deposit, to save enough water for all our 

We now numbered nearly three hundred persons in camp, with 
but a few small calabashes containing five or six gallons of water ; 
and all, more or less, felt the effects of the rarefied air. Mr. Bracken- 
ridge had a violent attack of the mountain-sickness, although one of 
the stoutest of the party ; many of the natives felt unwell ; and we all 
began to experience great soreness about the eyes, and a dryness of the 

At midday I found it impossible to obtain the dew-point with one of 
Pouillet's hygrometers, but after the clouds reached us in the afternoon 
it was found at 10. 

Dr. Judd had his hands full administering to the wants of all ; but his 
spirits, always buoyant and cheerful, made every one comfortable and 
happy around him. 

Old Keaweehu told us that we had taken the wrong road to the 
mountain, and that Puhano was not at all acquainted with the right 
road, a fact we had long before discovered ; that if we had come by 
way of Papapala, he would have been able to conduct us by a route 
we should have found water every few miles. Ragsdale was now sent 
off to meet the party from the ship, with orders for them to take the 
route now indicated, and for him to act as their guide. 

Sergeant Stearns, in his excursions on the flanks of the party, shot 
some mountain geese, and whether to impute it to the appetite created 
by the mountain air, or the flavour of the bird, they certainly proved 
a great delicacy. 

The 20th, being Sunday, was a day of rest: the natives requested 
that it might be so, and I readily yielded to their wishes. I was 
anxious, however, to ascertain the state of the mountain, and whether 
there was any snow to be had on its top, for I now felt satisfied that 
the want of water would prove the greatest difficulty I should have to 
encounter, in remaining there as long as I intended. 

Lieutenant Budd received orders to set out with a few attendants 
at daylight ; but after making his preparations, and having all things 
ready, the natives refused to accompany him on account of its being 
Sunday, as they said. I am, however, inclined to believe that fear 
had something to do with it, for they never knew of any one having 
gone up this mountain before, and thought me mad for taking so 


much trouble to ascend it. They said that I must be in pursuit of 
gold and silver, or something to sell for money, as I never would take 
so much trouble, and spend so much money, unless it were to acquire 
great riches. In the morning Dr. Judd had religious service with 
the natives, and the day was passed without work. It was a most 
beautiful day: the atmosphere was mild, and the sun shone brightly 
on all below us. We enjoyed a clear and well-defined horizon, the 
clouds all floating below us in huge white masses, of every variety of 
form, covering an area of a hundred or more miles ; passing around 
as they entered the different currents, where some acquired a rotary 
motion that I had never before observed. The steam-cloud above the 
volcano was conspicuous, not only from its silvery hue, but by its 
standing firm, like an immense rock, while all around and beneath it 
were in motion. The vault overhead was of the most cerulean blue, 
extending to and blending with the greenish tint of the horizon ; while 
beneath the clouds, the foreground and distant view of the island was 
of a dark green. The whole scene reminded me of the icy fields of 
the Southern Ocean; indeed the resemblance was so strong, that it 
seemed only to require the clouds to have angular instead of cumular 
shapes, to have made the similarity complete. It was perceived, that 
as masses of clouds met they appeared to rebound, and I seldom saw 
them intermingle ; they would lie together with their forms somewhat 
compressed, and their outlines almost as well preserved as when 
separated and alone. After three o'clock, when the sun was retiring, 
the clouds advanced up the mountain-side, and finally we became 
immersed in them. This happened on both days at nearly the same 

During the day, I succeeded in obtaining sets of observations for 
latitude and longitude. I experienced for the first time much fatigue 
in holding the instruments. The barometer and thermometer were 
observed throughout the day at the hours arranged with the observa- 
tory at Hilo. 

In the evening we were much gratified at receiving fifteen gallons 
of water, which the natives had brought ten miles in open-mouthed 
vessels, over the rough mountain roads : this they do by placing some 
fern-leaves on the top of the water, when it carries as well as a solid, 
and will bear much agitation without spilling. Though a very small 
supply for our necessities, it was a great satisfaction to know that it 
was now within reach of us. Partially relieved from this pressing 
difficulty, our attention was turned to the fuel, and I at once saw the 
necessity of providing some means for procuring a supply, as we were 
now at one of the last points where it was to be obtained. We were 


certainly two, if not three days' journey from the summit, and an 
ascent of eight thousand feet was still to be accomplished. 

After dark the mist cleared off, when we saw the majestic cloud of 
the volcano hanging as though illuminated in its position. This is 
one of the best guides for the mountain, both by night and by day; 
any one who visits Mauna Loa, and the crater, cannot but admire this 
constant emblem of the destructive elements below, fitted as it is, 
from its purity, grace, and majestic appearance, to blend harmo- 
niously with the blue vault above. 

It was determined to fix a post here, in order to forward supplies 
of wood and articles of provision as they came from below. Pea, our 
chief, was accordingly ordered to select a site which would answer 
this purpose. 

On Monday, 21st, we set out at an earjy hour. The ascent now 
became much steeper than any we had hitherto experienced, for the 
whole face of the mountain consisted of one mass of lava, that had 
apparently flowed over in all directions from the summit. The sun 
shone brightly, and his rays seemed to fall with increased power on 
the black lava. No wind was stirring, and the exhaustion consequent 
on the rarefied air we were breathing, made the labour of climbing 
very fatiguing; many suffered from nausea and headache, and the 
desire for water redoubled in both whites and natives. For water 
they could no longer find a substitute in berries, as they had previously 
done, for that fruit had disappeared, and the only vegetation left was a 
few tufts of grass. 

About noon, Dr. Judd volunteered to proceed with the guide to 
ascertain if there was any snow, and at what distance. It was agreed 
that we should continue to move on in the same direction, and encamp 
when we found we could get no higher. Most of the party were now 
lying about on the rocks, with the noonday sun pouring on them ; a 
disposition to sleep, and a sensation and listlessness similar to that pro- 
duced by sea-sickness, seemed to prevail. I felt the former strongly 
myself, and enjoyed as sound an hour's sleep on the hard lava as I 
have ever had. The burdens had become intolerably heavy, and all 
complained of their inability to carry them. The use of the sextant 
had become still more fatiguing than the day before, causing me much 
pain to hold it. From what I myself experienced, I was satisfied that 
every one's strength had decreased nearly one-half. 

We managed, after an hour's rest, to go on two miles further, and 
then encamped. No place offered where we could drive a peg for the 
tents, and loose blocks of lava were resorted to, to confine the cords. 
The principal inducement for stopping at this spot was the discovery 

VOL iv. M2 18 


of a large tunnel, or cave, in which the men could be accommodated, 
and which was at a sufficient distance from the Sunday Station for a 
day's journey. This station was afterwards known as the Recruiting 
Station, because all the sick and wounded from the higher stations 
were sent here as to an hospital. 

Long after \ve had finished our arrangements for the night, and 
even after it had become dark, we looked in vain for Dr. Judd and his 
companion. We therefore lighted our fires as a signal to him, and 
were soon rejoiced to see him safely back. He brought with him a 
small snow-ball, and the agreeable intelligence that we should find 
abundance of snow on the top of the mountain, provided we reached 
it next day ; for he told us it was melting fast. He had travelled for 
more than four hours and a half before he reached the snow, and had 
been an hour and a half returning down hill, on a run. The point 
where he met the snow appeared to him to be about equidistant from 
our present camp and the summit of the mountain. 

I now felt that the troubles of my scientific operations were begin 
ning, for I found that one of the iron cross-bars of the lower part of 
the pendulum-frame, which had been entrusted to a native to carry, 
had been broken into two pieces. To provide, however, for mishaps 
of this description, I had brought the armourer of the Vincennes with 
me. There would have been no difficulty in his mending it under 
favourable circumstances ; but, fearing that in our present position he 
might not succeed, I at once despatched a messenger to the ship, with 
orders to have a new one made and forwarded as speedily as possible. 

Although it was somewhat encouraging to know that snow had 
been found, yet we were apprehensive it might disappear before we 
could reach it. On holding a consultation, it was thought best that all 
- those who were not absolutely needed for the intended operations on 
the mountain should make a hasty trip to the top, or terminal crater, 
and then return to the coast; for our provisions, as well as water, 
were so low, as in all probability to reduce us to a very short allow- 
ance. It was, therefore, determined, that the consul, Mr. Bracken- 
ridge, Mr. Drayton, and Mr. Elliott, should each be supplied with a 
day's allowance, and go on at an early hour to the summit, unen- 
cumbered, in order to satisfy themselves with a sight of it, return 
before night to the Recruiting Station, and thence proceed down the 
mountain. I resolved to go on with a few of the instruments, to choose 
an encampment on the summit. 

The Recruiting Station was left under charge of Lieutenant Budd, 
and it was afterwards made a depot for our stores, &c. 

All the parties set out at an early hour on their several tracks and 


duties, while some of the officers forwarded the heavy articles ; for we 
now found the necessity of advancing, step by step, towards the 
summit. The main difficulty was the want of water at the depot, but 
this I was in hopes might be supplied from above by the return of the 
parties who were to carry up the instruments, provisions, and wood. 

My party consisted of the guide, Keaweehu, twelve Kanakas, and 
seven of our own men, including the sergeant. At about twelve 
o'clock we reached a spot where the guide pointed out a few half- 
burnt sticks, as the place where Lowenstern had cooked his dinner. 
As the two Kanakas who had charge of the bundles of wood had 
contrived to lighten their loads very much by dropping part of it by 
the way, I gave them orders to take the wood he had left to cook our 

Mr. Brackenridge passed me on his way from the crater. From 
him I ascertained we were yet three and a half miles from the terminal 
point. I gave him instructions to repair to the lower country, as there 
was nothing for him to do in this barren region. 

The wind blew a strong gale from the southwest, and was piercingly 
cold : the thermometer, at 3 p. M., showed 25. For some time pre- 
vious, I had been obliged to keep the Kanakas before me, to prevent 
them from throwing their loads down and deserting ; but I found them 
unable to go any further ; being nearly naked, they were suffering 
much. Seeking a place of shelter under a high bank of clinkers, partly 
protected from the wind, I allowed them to deposit their loads, and 
gave them permission to return, upon which they seemed actually to 
vanish ; I never saw such agility displayed by them before. 

As soon as the natives who were on the road saw those from the 
upper party coming down, they could no longer be induced to face the 
cold, and all deserted at once. The mountain became in consequence 
a scene of confusion ; being strewn with instruments, boxes, pieces of 
the portable house, tents, calabashes, &c., which the natives had 

I now found myself with the guide and nine men, with nothing for a 
covering but the small tent used for the instruments, and the coming 
on of a snow-storm made it very necessary to have something to 
protect us. The thermometer had gone down to 18, and most of the 
men were much affected with the mountain-sickness, with headache 
and fever, and were unable to do any thing. I felt quite unwell 
myself from the same cause, having a violent throbbing of the 
temples and a shortness of breath, that were both painful and dis- 
tressing. With the few men that remained able to work, I began 


building a circular wall of the clinkers, to enable us to spread what 
little canvass we had, over it ; all the blankets we could spare were 
hung inside, which I hoped would keep us from being frozen. After 
succeeding in this, which occupied us till dark, we made a fire to 
prepare our scanty supper, and some tea for the sick. I now dis- 
covered that three of the men were absent ; and on inquiry, found 
that they had gone down, in hopes of finding my tent, which they 
supposed had been left about a mile below. One may judge of my 
uneasiness, as it was pitchy dark, and there was no trace whatever of 
a track, or any thing by which they could find their way back, over 
many dangerous chasms. I had barely wood enough to heat the 
water for the sick, and no more than a piece or two of candle, without 
any lantern, and therefore no obvious means of making a signal. 
However, as necessity is the mother of invention, I turned my clothes 
out of the calabash, and fastening a piece of a cotton shirt over it, made 
quite a respectable lantern : this was placed on the most conspicuous 
point. After the light had been extinguished several times, and a 
series of difficulties encountered in relighting it, we succeeded in 
establishing our lighthouse ; and though a feeble one, it had the de- 
sired effect. The men, when they first saw it, had already strayed 
off the track ; and had it not been for the lantern, would not have 
been able to join us again. They came back, crawling on their hands 
and knees ; and had travelled thus for most of the distance. The 
whole time they had been absent, was two hours and a half. Although 
I felt very much displeased with their departure without permission, I 
could not find fault with them, so much was I rejoiced to see them in 
safety ; and when I knew they had incurred all this fatigue and risk to 
make me more comfortable. 

The snow now began to fall fast. My steward, from his thoughtful- 
ness, had an ample supply of tea, which he had carried in his knap- 
sack to save it from being plundered ; and consequently we had enough 
to supply all. 

The supper being ended, we stowed ourselves away within the 
circular pen ; and while the men kept passing their jokes about its 
comforts, the wind blew a perfect hurricane without. I was glad to 
find the spirits of those who were sick, began to revive. The ther- 
mometer had fallen to 15. The height found by the barometer was 
thirteen thousand one hundred and ninety feet. 

All were soon fast asleep ; and although there was scarcely a foot of 
level rock, they seemed to rest as comfortably as possible. I had little 
inclination to sleep ; for difficulties seemed to increase upon me, and I 


felt some uneasiness about one of my men, named Longley, who had 
not come up with us. The men all said, that he had returned to the 
Recruiting Station ; having been unwell and unable to proceed. 

At about four o'clock in the morning, the snow had accumulated in 
such quantities on our canvass roof, that it broke in upon us, bringing 
down also some of the stones. This was a disagreeable accident ; and 
after escaping from beneath the ruin, it became necessary to take the 
covering off and clear the snow out of the pen, which was nearly full. 
This was the work of nearly an hour of unpleasant labour; but it was 
much more easily accomplished, than getting ourselves warm again. 
I need scarcely say, I passed a most uncomfortable night. 

When daylight came, the storm had somewhat abated in violence, 
and I despatched the men for the tents and wood, a part of which had 
been dropped by one of the natives within half a mile of our position. 
A man soon returned with the wood, and another brought forward a 
calabash, in which we fortunately found some provisions, and we soon 
had what we little expected, something to eat, and what the men called 
a comfortable breakfast. 

It was very pleasant to find the sick ones reviving, and good-humour 
and cheerfulness so predominant among them that they seemed ready 
for further exertions. We had now all that was necessary to push on 
to the summit. I left a flag on a rocky peak near by ; and this was 
afterwards called the Flag Station. 

About eleven o'clock we set out, and were obliged to cross a mass of 
clinkers, which our guide had hitherto endeavoured to avoid. When, 
after two hours' laborious walking, we reached the top or terminal 
crater, it still continued snowing in squalls, with a keen southwest wind 
driving in our faces ; the ground being covered a foot deep with snow, 
rendered it more dangerous and irksome to pass over such loose and 
detached masses. 

From intelligence that had been brought me by the gentlemen who 
had gone before and taken a hasty look into the crater, it was thought 
that the descent into it would prove easy, and that I might encamp on 
its floor ; but I found after travelling a long distance over the rugged 
surface, that it was impossible to succeed in making a descent. I 
was, therefore, compelled to return, and choose the smoothest place 
for our encampment I could find. It was after four o'clock, and but 
little time was left for the men to return. As soon as they had pitched 
the tent, within about sixty feet of the ledge of the crater, using large 
blocks of lava to confine its cords, I sent them off under charge of 
the guide to the Flag Station, and remained with my servants only. 
By six o'clock I thought that we had made ourselves comfortable 


for the night, and that the storm had so far moderated that it would 
not trouble us ; but a short hour proved the contrary. Our fire was 
dispersed, candles blown out, and the tent rocking and flapping as if it 
\vould go to pieces, or be torn asunder from its fastenings, and disap- 
pear before the howling blast. I now felt that what we had passed 
through on the previous night was comfort in comparison to this. The 
wind had a fair sweep over us, and as each blast reached the opposite 
side of the crater, the sound which preceded its coming was at times 
awful ; the tent, however, continued to stand, although it had many 
holes torn in it, and the ridge-pole had chafed through its top. 

It was truly refreshing, after the night we had passed, to see the sun 
rising clear. It seemed quite small, and was much affected by hori- 
zontal refraction, as it appeared above the sea, forming a long horizon- 
tal ellipse of two and a half diameters, first enlarging on one side and 
then on another. After it had reached the height of two diameters 
above the horizon, the ellipse gradually inclined on the right, and in a 
few moments afterwards its longer axis became vertical, and it then 
enlarged at the bottom, somewhat in the form of an egg. 

My servants fruitlessly attempted to make a fire ; after they had 
exhausted all their matches without success, we each took turns to 
ignite a stick, after the native fashion, but with no more success ; the 
nearest approximation to it was plenty of smoke. After making many 
vain attempts, and having had but little sleep, \ve took to our blankets 
again, to await the coming of some of the party from below. 

At about eleven o'clock on the 23d, Drs. Judd and Pickering pulled 
open the tent, and found us all three wrapped up in our blankets. 
They had passed the night at the Flag Station. 

On inquiry, I found that Longley had not been seen for the last two 
days and nights ; and fears were entertained that he had missed his 
way and perished. 

It might, at first view, appear strange that any one could be lost on 
a bare mountain side, with nothing to impede the sight ; but, shut out 
the lower country, and one would be very much at a loss in which 
direction to go ; the surface is so much broken, and so many spots 
resemble each other, that even an accurate observer might soon be- 
come bewildered. 

The last time Longley had been seen was by Mr. Brackcnridgc, 
who encountered him near the path, sick, and had carried him to a 
sheltered spot, and covered him with some of his warm clothing. 
Lieutenant Budd, on being informed of it, had endeavoured to persuade 
several natives to go in search of him ; but none could be induced to 
do so, as they thought it impossible to find their way buck in the dark. 


A search was set on foot in the morning, but had continued without 

The storm which with us had been snow, was rain at the Recruiting 
Station, and they were in hopes of getting from it a supply of water ; 
but in the morning the lava-rock appeared as dry as before. 

The news Dr. Judd brought was far from encouraging. Besides 
the disappearance of Longley, I learned that nearly all the natives had 
deserted the boxes ; that many of them had not even' reached the 
Recruiting Station, and that Ragsdale and his forty goats had not 
come; nor were there any tidings of the party from the ship. The 
natives hearing of our distresses, and probably exaggerating them, had 
refused to furnish any thing unless at exorbitant prices. The officers 
had very properly rejected the whole that was offered ; for, although 
our allowance was small, we trusted that the provisions from the ship 
would arrive in a day or two at farthest. 

I despatched a messenger to desire that the men coming from the 
ship should be employed first in hunting up Longley, although I enter- 
tained little hope of his being found alive, exposed as he must have been 
to two such severe nights and days, without food or covering from the 

After getting a fire lighted, and something to eat, Drs. Judd, Pick- 
ering, and myself, set out to reconnoitre the crater for a more suitable 
place in which to establish the tents ; but, after much search, we found 
none that offered so many facilities as that I had accidentally chosen 
the first night. Dr. Pickering parted from us, and was the first to 
make a descent into the crater. 

Nothing can exceed the devastation of the mountain : the whole area 
of it is one mass of lava, that has at one time been thrown out in a fluid 
state from its terminal crater. There is no sand or other rock ; nothing 
but lava, on whichever side the eye is turned. To appearance it is of 
different age?, some of very ancient date, though as yet not decom- 
posed, and the alternations of heat and cold, with rain and snow, seem 
to have united in vain for its destruction. In some places, it is quite 
smooth, or similar to what has already been described as the pahoihoi, 
or " satin stream ;" again, it appears in the form of clinkers, which are 
seldom found in heaps, but lie extended in beds for miles in length, 
sometimes a mile wide, and occasionally raised from ten to twenty 
feet above the surface of the surrounding lava. 

The place where these clinkers appear to me to have been formed is 
in the crater itself; there they have been broken up by contending 
forces, and afterwards ejected with the more fluid lava, and borne 

144 M A U N A L O A. 

upon its surface down the mountain side, until they became arrested in 
their course by the accumulating weight, or stopped by the excessive 
friction that the mass had to overcome. In this way the beds, or rather 
streams, of them might have been formed, which would accumulate for 
miles, and continue to increase as the crater discharged this description 
of scoria. What strengthened my opinion in this respect was, that 
there were, apparently, streams of pahoihoi coming out from underneath 
the masses of clinkers wherever they had stopped. The crater may be 
likened to an immense cauldron, boiling over the rim, and discharging 
the molten mass and scoriae which has floated on its top. 

This day we received news of the arrival of Lieutenant Alden at the 
Recruiting Station, with the detachment from the ship ; but he had 
brought no provisions, and none had yet reached the station. This 
arrival, therefore, instead of supplying our wants rather increased them. 

The small transit was brought up this day, and, to add to my vexa- 
tions, on opening it I found the level broken. I did not stop to inquire 
by what accident this had happened, but within ten minutes despatched 
an order to the ship for another, which was distant sixty miles. 

We received a supply of wood from below, and sent down water in 
return. John Downhaul, a native, who was one of the party, desired 
permission to return to the ship, as, according to his own account, he 
was almost dead. Dr. Judd had met him with a number of natives in 
a cave, as he came up, the morning after the storm. It appeared, from 
John's account, that he had advised some of the natives to stop and 
take care of him in their hasty retreat, but that he had only retained 
them with him by threatening them with the evil spirits of the 
mountain. .When morning came, they left him. He had been very 
sick, vomiting and bringing up blood, and felt unable to move any 
further up the mountain ; but having my portfolio, he did not wish to 
intrust it to the care of another. Dr. Judd prescribed for him, and 
sent him down, with directions to proceed to Hilo. On his way down, 
Downhaul met one of the carriers of the provisions for the consul's 
party, whom he stopped and began to question ; finding that he was 
loaded with provisions, and being quite hungry, he told him to put down 
the load, for he was the " tommodore's man," and must be obeyed, and 
accordingly helped himself without stint, inducing the native to partake 
also. When the man reached Mr. Brinsmadc, the articles were found 
to be very much diminished in bulk, and on inquiry, the native at once 
told the whole truth, and how he had been deceived. 

In the evening, at 6 p. M., the thermometer stood at 29, and during 
the night it fell to 22. 

M A U N A L O A. 


Christmas-day set in quite stormy, with snow and a gale from the 
southwest ; it was very cold, and the only way we had of keeping 
warm was to wrap ourselves up with blankets and furs. We had just 
wood enough to heat a little chocolate. 

The small instruments having arrived, I began some of the obser- 

While the rest were employed in making our tents as tight, as pos- 
sible, in the one Dr. Judd and myself occupied, we discovered a great 
deposit of moisture, which, on examination, was found to be caused by 
steam issuing through a crack in the lava. On placing a thermometer 
in it, it rose to 68. The tent was forty feet from the edge of the pre- 
cipice of the crater, and it was not surprising that the steam should find 
its way up from the fires beneath. As it somewhat annoyed us, we 
pounded and filled the seam full of broken pieces of lava. This circum- 
stance led to the discovery of a small piece of moss, the only living 
thing, either animal or vegetable, that was found within six miles dis- 
tance, or within four thousand feet of the height of the terminal crater. 
This moss was here nourished by the steam that escaped, which sup- 
plied it with warmth and moisture. 

This day we made many experiments on the temperature of boiling 
water : the mean of the observations gave the boiling temperature at 
188, being five hundred and sixty feet to each degree of temperature. 
At the volcano of Kilauea, I had found it less than five hundred and 
fifty feet to each degree; while the result of careful experiments at the 
Sunday Station, gave five hundred and fifty-five feet to the degree, and 
at the Recruiting Station, five hun- 
dred and fifty-eight feet. 

We also employed ourselves in 
building a high stone wall around 
a space large enough to contain the 
houses and tents, when they should 
all arrive, having found the necessity 
of it to protect ourselves from the f 
violent winds. Besides this, each 
tent was to be surrounded by a se- 
parate wall, up as hi^h as the eaves, 
when completed. The plan was 
as exhibited in the annexed wood- 

1. Pendulum-house. 2. Captain Wilkes's tent. 3. Officers' tent. 4, 5 and G. Men's 

quarters. 7. Magnetic house. 8. Observatory. 9. Store-house. 10. Wood-house. 11. 

Kitchen. 12. Thermometer and barometer house. 13. Entrance. 
VOL. IV. N 19 

146 MAUN A LOA. 

On the morning of the 20th, news was brought that Longley had 
been found by Messrs. Alden and Eld : when discovered, he was 
almost unable to speak, and quite delirious. He was carefully 
attended to by these officers, who were fortunately provided with the 
means of making him comfortable at once from their stores, a circum- 
stance which probably saved his life. Suitable men were allotted to 
watch over him. He was found lying in a hole in the rock, with his 
hat, pea-jacket, and mittens on : his water-flask was hanging to his 
neck, just as he had left the encampment three days before. He 
complained constantly, in a low tone, that some person had driven 
him out of his house. 

I cannot give a better idea of the state of this mountain, than the 
fact, that Longley, who had been missing three days and three nights, 
was finally found lying near the route which had been travelled over 
by thirty or forty men twice or three times each day, many of whom 
were actually in search of him. 

Some of the boxes now began to make their appearance, by the aid 
of the sailors from the ship ; but the provisions had* not arrived, and 
the allowance was again reduced. Most of the men were reported 
as without shoes, having worn out those they left the ship with ; and 
being barefooted, could not move over the sharp vitreous lava. Many 
of them were likewise said to be ill with the mountain-sickness. 
Wood was brought up, and water sent down to the lower station, in 

The wind had been fresh throughout the day ; but towards night 
it began to increase, and by eight o'clock we had another violent gale 
from the southwest. I do not think I ever passed such a night : it 
blew a perfect hurricane for several hours, causing an incessant slam- 
ming, banging, and flapping of the tents, as though hundreds of 
persons were beating them with clubs. These noises, added to the 
howling of the wind over the crater, rendered the hours of darkness 
truly awful. 

The two other tents were blown down, but mine stood firm. The 
men lay under the fallen tents, and were made fur more comfortable 
after the accident. It was impossible to stand against the gusts ; and 
we watched all night, for no one could sleep. The thermometer fell 
to 17 inside the tent ; and water in the bags, under my pillow, froze. 
About three o'clock, the wind began to moderate ; and at sunrise, we 
found the temperature at 20. 

From the news received on the 25th, respecting the condition of 
the men, I determined to see them myself. Dr. Judd and I therefore 
set out on the morning of the 26th ; and when about two miles from 

M AUN A LO A. 147 

the summit, we met Lieutenant Alden, Dr. Pickering, and Mr. Eld, 
who were coming up to see me, to report the condition of the men. 
The account they gave of them was any thing but cheering. On the 
arrival of Lieutenant Alden, I had directed that he should take an inter- 
mediate post between Lieutenant Budd's Recruiting Station and the 
summit crater, in order that the men belonging to one station might be 
able to bring up their loads and return before night. This, Lieutenant 
Alden informed me, he had done : his station was at the height of eleven 
thousand eight hundred feet. 

I now saw more strongly the necessity of my going down, in order 
to ascertain the exact situation of things, give the men encourage- 
ment, and renew the spirit with which they had left the ship, as volun- 
teers. I have always found that sailors are easily encouraged ; and 
by putting a light heart and cheerful face upon the times, they quickly 
reassume their good spirit ; and this I found to be the case in the pre- 
sent instance. 

We parted ; Lieutenant Alden, Dr. Pickering, and Mr. Eld going 
up to the terminal crater, while Dr. Judd and myself continued to 
descend for about four miles. There we found a large number of men 
in a temporary tent, lying on the panels of the portable houses: some 
of them were suffering from mountain-sickness, others vomiting; some 
had attacks of diarrhoea, others had not got over their forced march, 
and showed me their bleeding feet and shoeless condition; all were 
looking half-savage, with overgrown beards, dirty and ragged clothes, 
so totally different from their trim and neat appearance on board 
ship, that I was shocked at the change produced in so short a time. 

Whilst Dr. Judd administered to the sick, I spoke to those who were 
well, and succeeded in animating them : they all assured me they were 
"good pluck," and such I afterwards found them. They set about 
mending their shoes and making sandals; and by the next day, many 
were transporting small loads up the mountain side. 

Poor Longley had shelter in the hollow of a rock, under a sail, 
carefully attended by four of his messmates. It was affecting to see 
these simple-hearted fellows depressed in spirits, and looking as if 
cast away, superintending the sick man with all the care possible, illy 
provided with things to make him comfortable, yet contented to wait 
until they could receive relief. This we promised would reach them 
before night. 

I have always admired the care and attachment which sailors show 
for each other; even the most reckless are constant in their attentions 
to their messmates, when ill. I have never yet seen them neglect each 
other under these circumstances. Many instances of their disinterest- 

148 MAUN A LO A. 

cdness and feeling that came under my observation on the mountain 
might be mentioned, did I not feel it would be a digression from the 
course of the narrative, that would not be allowable. 

The only account that Longley could give me was, that being sick, 
he had lain down near the path, and was unable to move afterwards: 
he endeavoured to make signals to those he saw passing, but could 
attract no attention. 

At about four o'clock we reached the Recruiting Station, having 
encountered the boxes and various articles, together with pieces of the 
portable house, strewed along the way. These had been left by the 
natives, who deserted en masse when those who had left me the first 
night came down giving exaggerated accounts of the cold, and other 
difficulties of the journey. I found Lieutenant Budd quite well, and 
only a few of the men that were with him sick : they had little or no 

The difference of temperature between the altitude of fourteen 
thousand and nine thousand feet was very apparent: we could now 
enjoy sitting in the open air without feeling cold ; it was as if we had 
passed at once from winter to spring. Although, ten days before, I 
had looked upon this spot as particularly barren, being destitute of 
vegetation and without water, yet, by comparison with the upper 
station which we had just left, every thing now appeared comfortable. 
It had been chosen, as I have said before, for a very remarkable cave, 
which had now become our hospital, and which was found dry, warm, 
and large enough to have accommodated the whole party. All the 
sick were immediately transported here, and placed under the super- 
intendence of Dr. Judd and his assistants. The men here had pro- 
cured a large turtle-shell from the natives, and in commemoration of 
their jaunt, engraved on it all their names, and nailed it to a staff 
which they erected at the mouth of the cave. 

We passed the night with Lieutenant Budd, and although the lava 
floor of the tent was a rough bed, we seldom enjoyed so sound a sleep. 

After arranging every thing relative to the provisions, when they 
should arrive, and visiting the sick with Dr. Judd, I determined to 
return to the top. The doctor remained for a day or two, to arrange 
matters with the natives at the lower station, so as to have our supplies 
more regularly forwarded; and also for the transportation of Longley to 
the ship. Taking with me James G. Clarke, a seaman, I again started 
for the summit, heavily laden with provisions. Longley was found 
better, and some of the men able to move about; and in order to pre- 
vent any accident by losing the direction, small flags were placed, as 
we went up, within sight of each other. We reached the observatory 

MAUN A LOA. 149 

at the terminal crater at four o'clock, after a hard walk of six hours. 
We had now three stations, viz. : the Recruiting Station, Lieutenant 
Alden's, and the Flag Station, under the sergeant of marines. These 
made it a more easy task to get the loads up, although it would require 
a longer time. 

I found they had built some part of the wall around our encamp- 
ment on the summit, and being apprehensive that we were again to 
have bad weather, we all joined to secure the tents more effectually 
against the anticipated storm. 

The cold, this day, to our feelings was intense, although the tem- 
perature was not lower than 2(i. All our exertions in carrying stone 
for the wall, and violent exercise could not keep us warm. Dr. Picker- 
ing came in, towards dark, half frozen, having made the circuit of the 
three craters, which had occupied him nearly all day. The stream of 
the last eruption, some sixty years since, was from the north crater. 

The two chronometers, with the pendulum clock, and some of the 
pendulum apparatus, had reached the top during the day ; and I was 
rejoiced to find, on examination and comparison with the one I had, 
that no difference of rate had yet taken place. 

We found the experiment of enclosing the camp in with a stone 
wall to succeed admirably, protecting us very much from the south- 
west wind. The temperature during the night fell to 17. 

On the 2Sth the day dawned with fine weather. At sunrise the 
effect of refraction was very similar to that before described. I was 
again struck with the apparent smallness of the diameter of the sun 
when seen in the horizon. The day continued beautifully clear, with 
a very strong wind from the westward. We were employed in taking 
observations, and the transit was set firmly, to get the passage of the 
stars: a wall was also built around the observatory, to protect it from 
the wind. 

Finding there was no longer any necessity for the Flag Station to 
be continued, I ordered the sergeant and party up to Pendulum Peak, 
and directed Lieutenant Alden to remove to the Recruiting Station, 
and that Lieutenant Budd should join me at the summit. This ar- 
rangement became necessary, as the men would now unavoidably be 
exposed to the cold, and had recruited so much that they could make 
the trip between the two stations during the day, with loads, sleeping 
at the upper or lower station. Dr. Pickering made a trip to-day into 
the crater on the west side, which he found no easy task. He brought 
back several specimens of lava. The night was clear, but very cold. 

On the 29th we were busy putting up the pendulum apparatus. A 
short time after noon, Dr. Judd again joined us with the joyful news 
that the party from the ship had arrived, with sixty days' provisions 


150 MA UN A LOA. 

for as many men. I now felt that through our own perseverance we 
should succeed in obtaining our wishes, for with this supply we could 
remain sufficiently long to effect my object in visiting the mountain. 

Dr. Pickering left us to descend the mountain, with the intention of 
ascending that of Mauna Kea with Mr. Brackenridge. The day was 
much warmer than we had felt it since reaching the summit. 

The fine weal her enabled us to build the wall to enclose the whole 
encampment, put up the houses and tents, and attend to the observa- 
tions. In a note from Lieutenant Alden, he informed me that not 
more than half the men had shoes, and not more than that number 
were fit for duty, partly on that account and lameness, together with 
mountain-sickness. A supply of shoes, and sandals of raw hide, had 
been sent for, as the men had already worn out two pairs. It was 
exceedingly provoking to learn that there was much delay in getting 
these articles and the provisions from the ships ; which arose, as I was 
informed by letter, in consequence of the refusal of the Rev. Mr. Coan 
to allow the natives to set out early on Sunday morning: he required 
the officer to state that he believed our necessities were urgent before 
he would consent to the natives going. 

The temperature in the shade at noon was 47 ; in the sun, 70 ; and 
at night it again fell to 20. 

On the 30th we had another delightful day, and improved it to the 
best of our ability, by numerous observations. 

The articles from below were now continually arriving. We took 
advantage of the fine weather to make an excursion to the northeast, 
for the purpose of seeing if I could effect a communication with the 
ship by simultaneous signals ; after walking for about two hours, we 
found that no view down the mountain-side could be had, as the top 
of Mauna Loa was an extensive flattened dome, falling very gradually 
on its northern and eastern sides. 

I therefore gave up this attempt, contenting myself with the deter- 
mination of the meridian distance by three chronometers. 

In returning, Dr. Judd and myself passed along the edge of the 
northeast crater, where we found, in a small cave that had been 
thrown up, a beautiful specimen of lava, the colour of the red oxide 
of iron. There was also some water in the cave. 

At night, on our return, we had a visit from the old guide, Kea- 
weehu, the bird-catcher, who gave us the name of the terminal crater, 
as Moku-a-weo-weo, and of that south of it as Pohakuohanalei. 
According to his statement, Moku-a-weo-weo emitted fire not long 
after Cook's visit, and again five years since, on the north side. 
When talking, the old man's face and appearance were so peculiar, 
that while he was in conversation with Dr. Judd, I thought it worth 



while to obtain a camera lucida sketch of him, as he sat wrapped in 
his tapa. 


Treble, the armourer, succeeded in mending the bar of the pen- 
dulum frame, and rendered it as good as it was originally. 

The thermometer stood at noon, in the sun, at 92 ; in the shade, at 
55 ; and at night it fell to 13. 

The 31st was another fine day, and we continued to receive pro- 
visions, wood, &c., from below, until we were well supplied. This 
enabled me to issue the full ration. We were also gladdened with 
letters from Honolulu, and news from the ship. They had experienced 
at Honolulu, on the nights of the 23d and 24th, a very heavy storm 
from the southwest, simultaneously with the one that annoyed us on 
the mountain. A greater degree of cold was experienced there than 
they had had for years. At Hilo, during this time, very light variable 
winds and calms prevailed. 

We were employed this day in erecting the pendulum-house, over 
which was placed a thick hair-cloth covering, and outside of all, a 
No. 2 canvass tent, surrounding the whole house, and enclosing a 
stratum of air. On the outer side a wall was built up to the eaves of 
the house, and all the cords drawn tightly through it. 

It was with some difficulty that any level spot was found sufficiently 
large to place even the pendulum-frame, and we were obliged to cut 
away with our axes and chisels, a portion of the lava that was uneven, 
until a suitable place was made. 

The temperature at night was 17; the weather clear and cold. 

On the 1st of January, 1841, we were still erecting the pendulum- 

152 MAUN A LOA. 

houses, and building stone walls. Dr. Judd, the sergeant, and Brooks, 
descended into the crater : they made the descent on the east bank 
among large blocks of lava, and reached the bottom in about an hour. 
There they were surrounded by huge clinkers, and ridges running 
generally north and south in lines across the crater; between these 
was the pahoihoi, or smooth lava. They passed over these obstruc- 
tions to the southwest, and found in places many salts, among which 
were sulphate of soda, and sulphate of lime. Four- fifths of the way 
across was a hill, two hundred feet high, composed of scoria and 
pumice, with fissures emitting sulphurous acid gas. To the west was 
a plain full of cracks and fissures, all emitting more or less steam and 

They found the west wall perpendicular: its lower strata were 
composed of a gray basalt. For three-fourths of the distance up, it 
had a dingy yellow colour. Above this, there are a number of thin 
layers, apparently dipping to the southwest, with the slope of the 

They also visited many steam-cracks on the northeast side, from 
which fumes of sulphurous acid gas were emitted ; no hydrogen was 
found in the gas, which extinguished flame without producing ex- 

Specimens of sulphate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, sulphate of 
ammonia, and carbonate of lime, were found in beautiful crystals by 
Dr. Judd, but it was found difficult to preserve any of them in a sepa- 
rate form, as they were all intermingled in their formation. 

Half-past two o'clock having arrived, Dr. Judd began his return to 
the bank where he had descended, and reached it after walking an hour 
and a half; it required another hour to ascend. When they returned, 
they appeared exhausted with their day's trip : overloaded as they 
were with specimens, the ascent was more arduous. 

This evening, at sunset, we had a beautiful appearance of the shadow 
of the mountain, dome-shaped, projected on the eastern sky: the 
colour of a light amethyst at the edges, increasing in intensity to a 
dark purple in the centre; it was as distinct as possible, and the vast 
dome seemed to rest on the distant horizon. The night was clear, with 
moonlight, the eflect of which on the scene was beautiful: the clouds 
floating below us, with the horizon above them, reminded us of the ice- 
bergs and ice-fields of the Antarctic : the temperature lent its aid to the 

Lieutenant Budd, with a party, joined me this day, bringing with him 
the transit-level, from the ship. Towards evening I had another attack 
of mountain-sickness, with much tendency of blood to the head. My 


steward was also attached with severity, and several of the men ; but, 
by aid of the remedies given us by Dr. Judd, the next morning found 
us all much relieved. 

The dew-point could not be obtained with Pouillel's hygrometer (a 
capsule). Whenever this was the case, electricity was found to be 
easily excited : on moving any articles of dress from the person, it 
would develope itself in sparks. On examination, it was found that 
our pulses varied during the day, and were very easily excited. Dr. 
Judd's fluctuated from sixty to one hundred beats, Mr. Eld's from 
eighty-four to one hundred and twenty, and mine from seventy-two to 
one hundred and eight. 

The night was favourable for observations, 'and we succeeded in 
making many. The wind was from the northeast. The thermometer 
at sunrise was at 20. The sun did not rise clear, as I was in hopes it 
would have done, so as to afford me an opportunity of again seeing the 
refraction, and measuring it. 

The 3d proved fine, and the pendulum-clock and apparatus being ar- 
ranged and adjusted, the clock was put in motion, and a comparison 
made with the three chronometers every two hours. 

It being Sunday, and a fine day, the men were allowed to wander 
about the crater; and some descended into it, bringing back many fine 
specimens of lava. 

During our stay on the summit, we took much pleasure and interest 
in watching the various movements of the clouds; this day in par- 
ticular they attracted our attention ; the whole island beneath us was 
covered with a dense white mass, in the centre of which was the 
cloud of the volcano rising like an immense dome. All was motion- 
less, until the hour arrived when the sea-breeze set in from the 
different sides of the island: a motion was then seen in the clouds 
at the opposite extremities, both of which seemed apparently moving 
towards the same centre, in undulations, until they became quite 
compact, and so contracted in space as to enable us to see a well- 
defined horizon ; at the same time there was a wind from the moun- 
tain, at right angles, that was affecting the mass, and driving it 
asunder in the opposite direction. The play of these masses was 
at tinies in circular orbits, as they became influenced alternately by 
the different forces, until the whole was passing to and from the 
cenire in every direction, assuming every variety of form, shape, and 

On other days clouds would approach us from the southwest, when 
we had a strong northeast trade-wind blowing, coming up with their 
cumulous front, reaching the height of about eight thousand feet, 
VOL. iv 20 


spreading horizontally, and then dissipating. At limes they would be 
seen lying over the island in large horizontal sheets, as white as the 
purest snow, with a sky above of the deepest azure blue that fancy 
can depict. I saw nothing in it approaching to blackness, at any 

The light from the volcano of Kilauea was exceedingly brilliant this 
night. The temperature fell to 17. 

On the 4th, Lieutenant Budd began the survey of the summit of the 
mountain (including the four craters), by measuring bases and planting 
signals. On the return of the parties, they reported that an eruption 
had taken place on the southwest side of the mountain. This was 
almost too good news to be true, for to see this wonderful crater in 
action was scarcely to be expected. Early on the following morning, 
a party was sent to examine the spot designated. 

Towards evening I began the pendulum observations, and found the 
temperature of the pendulum-house variable, for which I could not ac- 
count, as the outward air seemed to be excluded, and yet it varied 
as though it were exposed. At daylight the thermometer had risen 
to 20. 

Dr. Judd returned towards evening from the southwest side of the 
mountain, but found no signs of an eruption ; thus it turned out, as 
I had anticipated, a false alarm ; it served, however, to give us more 

Several large fissures were discovered on this jaunt, and a small 
crater lying south of the large one. The report of the eruption in all 
probability originated from the southwest clouds being illuminated by 
the setting sun, a phenomenon which was afterwards often observed. 

This party also descended into the crater of Pohakuohanalei, into 
which a stream of lava had run from that of Moku-a-weo-weo. This 
stream looked like a cascade formed of iron, the fluid having been 
transfixed before it reached the bottom. The crater is of an oval 
shape; it is stratified, and seventy layers of basaltic rock were counted, 
which have evidently been deposited by the overflow of the large 
crater: the guides, however, from knowledge derived from their tradi- 
tions, told us it was the oldest crater, though appearances led us to a 
contrary conclusion. 

On the bottom of this crater the lava was found much pulverized. 
Dr. Judd, finding a place with moist and rich earth, planted two 
orange-seeds, which, should they take root and grow, may astonish 
some future visitor. On their return they passed a hillock of recent 
cinders, which was open at the top. On entering it, they found them- 
selves in a beautiful cavern or hall, studded with stalactites of brown 

MAUN A LOA. 155 

lava, and whitened about the sides and bottom with sulphate of soda, 
in a state of efflorescence. A considerable quantity of this was taken 
up. It had been found in other places, but only in small quantities. 

On the 5th, a large quantity of dry grass arrived from below, which 
I had sent for to thatch the house, in order to preserve a more equable 
temperature. This we used to stuff between the house and tent. I 
also laid a thick covering of the same material over the lava floor, as 
I thought it probable there might be some hollow tunnel or cavern 
beneath the house. All these precautions soon produced the desired 
effect by giving an equable temperature, although the outward varia- 
tion still continued from 17 to 50 during the twenty-four hours. 

As we were desirous of having a little fire, for the purpose of 
warming our fingers when calculating or writing, we took one of the 
calabashes, and by filling it with stones, converting it into a " brasero." 
This answered our purpose admirably, except that we were occa- 
sionally annoyed with smoke. Dr. Judd, not content with this rude 
contrivance, invented a fire-place and chimney, which he built in one 
corner of the tent, and which occupied all the spare room we had. 
We thus were enabled to enjoy the comforts of what, on the top of 
Mauna Loa, we called a good fire. How good it was, may be under- 
stood when it is stated, that our allowance of fuel was three sticks of 
wood per day ; and that water froze within a couple of feet of the fire, 
when it was giving out the most heat. 

In a former gale, one of our three barometers had been blown over, 
spilling the mercury, though not injuring the tube ; being prepared for 
such accidents, I filled the tube again and took a careful comparison 
with the others, in the event of farther accidents. 

The temperature of boiling water was again tried, and found 187 ; 
the barometer stood at 18-384 in. No dew-point could be obtained. 
Electricity was developed in large sparks. 

Brooks, who was employed in putting up signals around the old 
crater with Lieutenant Budd, brought in some fine specimens from the 
north crater; among them were some having almost the appearance of 
pure glass. He had found a small piece of fern in the rich earth of 
the crater, which was regarded by us all as a great curiosity. 

The afternoon of the 6th, the atmosphere was heavy, causing much 
refraction ; there was little air stirring at the time. 

The 7th, w*e continued our observations ; the temperature of the 
pendulum-house now continued equable at 40. 

On the 8th, we had a change to cold, raw, and disagreeable weather; 
snow began to fall, and a kona or southwest gale set in; the tempera- 
ture fell soon to 20. 

156 MAUN A LOA. 

At 10 p. M., I was unable to proceed with the pendulum observa- 
tions ; for such was the fury of the storm, that the journeyman-clock, 
with a loud beat, although within three feet of my ear, could not be 
heard. I was indeed apprehensive that the whole tent, house, and 
apparatus would be blown over and destroyed. The barometer indi- 
cated but little change. This storm continued until sunrise of the 9th, 
when it moderated. I have seldom experienced so strong a wind ; it 
blew over and broke one of the barometers, although its legs had been 
guarded carefully by large stones ; and the wind was so violent at 
times, that it was with difficulty we could keep our footing. We 
suffered the loss of three thermometers, by the frame being blown 
down on which they were fastened. 

Towards morning, the wind having sufficiently lulled, the pendulum 
observations were continued. 

Being desirous of obtaining the depth of the crater, we prepared a 
long line with a plummet; and Mr. Eld was also despatched below, 
to get altitude angles with a base on both sides for the elevation of 
the banks. He set out at ten o'clock, with the sergeant and two men, 
and passed down under the eastern bank, the same route Dr. Judd 
had taken. He described it as so steep, as to threaten them, by a 
false step or the loosening of a stone, \vith being precipitated below. 
They reached the bottom in less than an hour: the plummet had been 
lowered, which Mr. Eld went in search of, but it had only reached 
about a third of the distance down, and on signal being made, it was 
lowered still further ; but the cord soon chafed through, and the plum- 
met, which was the top of the ship's maul, disappeared. 

Mr. Eld obtained his base and the angles of elevation of the east 
bank, and then went over to the west side. The passage across the 
bottom of the crater he found much as Dr. Judd had described it; 
the ridges, from ten to fifty feet in height, alternating with deep 
chasms and smooth pahoihoi. They were two hours crossing over, 
and in imminent danger every moment of being killed by the falling 
of fragments of rocks, or of being precipitated down the fissures, that 
were crossed every few yards by jumping on their fragile edges, 
and threatening himself and men on breaking through, with one of 
the most horrible deaths. Some of the steam-cracks they were able 
to approach, but others were entirely too dangerous to admit of such 

After finishing the observations, Mr. Eld directed his steps towards 
the bank or wall, where he had been told it was easier to pass along ; 
but he found the path quite as rugged ; and by the time they reached 
the place of ascent, they were all nearly unable to proceed from fatigue. 


The prospect of remaining the coining night in the cold, was sufficient 
to spur them on to overcome the ascent. They were all completely 
exhausted when they reached the camp at sunset. 

The banks of the crater were found, by Mr. Eld's observations, to be 
as follows : 

West bank, 784 feet 

East " 470 " 

On the 1 Oth of January, we had snow again. The temperature rose 
to 32 : the snow melted fast, causing excessive dampness within and 
without, while other discomforts that may be imagined prevailed. 
Towards night, it cleared off, the wind hauling round to the west- 
ward. The temperature fell quickly to 16, when for a few hours it 
blew a perfect hurricane. I thought the pendulum-house in great 
danger : it rocked to and fro, appearing at times to be lifted from the 
ground, and several of its staples were drawn out. Not a person in 
the camp could sleep until towards daylight, when the gale began to 

These gales reminded me strongly of those we experienced among 
the ice on the Antarctic cruise. I regretted I had no anemometer, to 
ascertain the direction, changes and force of the wind. It is remark- 
able that these severe gales all occurred during the night, beginning 
in the evening and continuing until the next morning. I attempted 
to ascertain the velocity of the clouds by the rate of progress of their 
shadow across the crater, marking the time of the passage ; and the 
greatest velocity in many trials of those from the southwest, was 
about forty-seven miles an hour. It was, however, observed, in these 
experiments, that the swiftness of the clouds seemed to increase in 
passing over the apex of the cone or crater. Whether this was the 
effect of being able to compare their movements more nearly with 
fixed objects, I am not prepared to say ; but I am inclined to believe 
that in some cases, as they touched the mountain-side, they were 
forced upwards and over the summit, with a much greater velocity 
for the first half of the crater than the last. The shortness of the 
time that elapsed in passing the diameter of the crater, little more 
than a mile, precludes the supposition that they had changed their 
form sufficiently to alter the figure of their shadow. The wind was 
blowing what would be termed a strong gale, when the experiments 
were made. 

On the llth, having the eprouvette mortar with me, I tried some 
experiments on the velocity of sound, comparing it with our measured 


bases and the sides of the triangles : these gave results as satisfactory 
as those usually obtained below. The great difference was in the 
sound itself: the report of the gun producing a kind of hissing noise. 
The eprouvette was of iron, and was fired with a plug driven into it 
very tightly after it was loaded. When fired near the level of the sea, 
it was necessary to close the ears when standing within twenty feet 
of it. The sound could be heard six miles, and the report was equal 
to that of a large gun. But on the summit we stood close to it without 
any precaution whatever, and the noise it there made was more like 
that of a squib. Although the reports of the epronvette were heard 
at the opposite side of the crater distinctly, yet the sound was a faint 
one; but at the Recruiting Station, then occupied by Lieutenant 
Alden, about eight miles distant, the sound was loud and reverbera- 

This night we finished the pendulum, and all the dip and intensity 
observations, except those with Gauss's needle. 

The temperature at night stood at 20. 

On the 12th, I joined Lieutenant Budd in the triangulation, and for 
this purpose made the circuit of the crater to occupy the western 
stations. The day was fine, and the lava covered with about five 
inches of snow. Having prepared our boots with hide sandals, Dr. 
Judd and myself set off at an early hour towards the south, and whilst 
Lieutenant Budd took the north side, we passed round Pohakuohanalei. 
In the vicinity of that crater are many fissures, of great depth, and with 
a fresh appearance, as though they had been in action only the day 
before. The matter which had been thrown out from them appeared 
to be pure obsidian, of a dark and shining colour, and very brittle. 
Beyond it was an extensive bed or stream of pahoihoi. The small 
crater to the south of Pohakuohanalei, is but a small pit, in comparison 
with the others, and does not appear to have ever discharged lava over 
its edge. It is of the kind that I shall hereafter designate as a pit-crater, 
and will be described when I come to speak of those that are near the 
new eruption. 

In traversing these fissures we were in great danger, and experienced 
much difficulty in walking on the recent stream that seemed to have 
flowed from them, for the snow which covered the lava concealed the 
new and weak places. The idea of being precipitated down a chasm 
of one hundred and fifty or two hundred feet deep, was by no means 
agreeable. Our blood was occasionally stirred by breaking through 
-with one leg or both ; and I shall not soon forget my own descent into 
a yapour or steam bath, which on trial was found to be 109 of tempe- 


rature, although only a few moments passed before I was out of 
danger. The lava at the mouth of some of the chasms, appeared as 
though it had been thrown up and plastered on the edges in clots, which 
seemed of the consistency of tar or melted sealing-wax, of various 
colours, the most predominant a dark brown. One of these fissures 
we designated as the Great Steam-crack : it led from the top of the 
mountain a long distance down its sides, towards the south, and from 
it vapour was constantly issuing. On throwing a piece of lava down 
it, a sound was produced as if many pieces had been flung into an 
ordinary chasm, and the reverberation continued so long, as to lead to 
the belief that the mountain was rent to its very base. 

Although we had scarcely accomplished one-third of the circuit, our 
sandals began to give way, and we were obliged to stop to mend them, 
in order to prevent ourselves from becoming barefoot before making the 
circuit and reaching the encampment. While Dr. Judd undertook the 
repairs, I made a sketch of the crater, looking into it from the south, 
with Mauna Kea in the distance, while all around us the lava was piled 
in huge blocks, confusedly thrown together by some mighty force. 

This crater differs in several particulars from that of Kilauea. It 
has no black ledge, and has a great quantity of fallen debris around its 
walls. There is no boiling lake, although the evidences of fire, as has 
already been stated, are not wanting, and its outer walls are more 
broken down. 

The glare from the snow in the strong sunlight had now become 
exceedingly uncomfortable to the eyes, which was felt by several who 
were in company with us. 

About 1 P. M., we were at a station on the southwest side, from 
which I obtained the distance, by sound, from the observatory. 

From this station we had a distant view of the hills on the coast. 

After getting my observations with the theodolite, we proceeded on 
our way round, frequently passing numbers of large boulders of a 
grayish basalt, that were lying on the lava stream, and had apparently 
been ejected from the crater. 

About two o'clock we reached the western side of the dome of 
Mauna Loa, which is here much more precipitous than it is on the 
east. On the western side there was no more than a slight sprinkling 
of snow, that scarcely covered the black lava. The weather was still 
and calm, and a deathlike stillness prevailed, which I dreaded to break, 
even by making a remark to my companions upon the splendour of the 
scene before us. The sight was surpassingly grand. In the distance, 
the island of Maui emerged from and broke the line of the deep-blue 


horizon, while its lower side was dimmed by a whitish haze, that seemed 
to unite it to the island of Hawaii. The same haze enveloped the hills 
of Kohala on our right, and the western extremity of Hawaii. Nearer 
to us was Hualalai, the third great mountain of Hawaii, up whose sides 
a compact mass of white fleecy clouds was impelled by the sea-breeze. 
To our right rose in bold relief Mauna Kea, covered with its snowy 
mantle ; and at our feet was spread out, between the three great moun- 
tains, the black plain of lava, overhung by a dusky pall of clouds. All 
these features were so blended into each other by the mist, as to 
exhibit a tone of harmony that could hardly be conceived, considering 
the variety of the forms, characters, and distances of the objects, and 
which seemed to blend earth, sea, and sky into one. I can never hope 
again to witness so sublime a scene, to gaze on which excited such 
feelings that I felt relieved when I turned from it to engage in the 
duties that had called me to the spot. 

It was not without some nervous excitement that I placed my instru- 
ment on the highest point of Mauna Loa, within a few feet of its 
crater, and turned it upon Mauna Kea, to measure the difference in 
the height of these twin giants of the Pacific. 

The very idea of standing on the summit of one of the highest 
peaks in the midst of this vast ocean, in close proximity to a precipice 
of profound depth, overhanging an immense crater " outrageous as a 
sea," with molten rock, would have been exciting even to a strong 
man ; but the sensation was overpowering to one already exhausted 
by breathing the rarefied air, and toiling over the lava which this huge 
cauldron must have vomited forth in quantities sufficient to form a dome 
sixty miles in diameter, and nearly three miles in height. 

I was still in doubt which mountain I should find the highest; for 
although previous measurements had given it in favour of Mauna Kea, 
yet I had found Mauna Loa about three hundred feet higher than it 
had been reported to be. Double the zenith angle was soon obtained, 
and decided it in favour of Mauna Kea, and subsequent calculations 
gave one cone of it as one hundred and ninety-three feet above the 
place where I stood. Although twin mountains, they are of very 
different character. Mauna Kea is a vast mound topped with cones, 
nine in number, whilst Mauna Loa is a smooth dome. On the former 
the frosts of winter prevail, while the latter has internal fires, and 
occasionally vomits forth its lava to the very point where the other 
begins to rise, covering its broad flanks with layers of rocks. 

We had not much time to spare, and as soon as Lieutenant Budd 
joined me, we continued our route, in order to reach the encampment 

MAUN A LOA. 161 

before dark, for otherwise we should be forced to pass the night among 
the blocks of lava. Our sandals of hide were worn through, and our 
shoes somewhat injured, so that it became a source of anxiety to us 
whether they would last long enough for us to reach our destination. 

With rapid steps we passed along the north bank of the crater, 
descending on our hands and knees over some large blocks, where the 
wall had been thrown down as it were by earthquakes, filling chasms 
near it several hundred feet in depth. The way was difficult and dan- 
gerous, requiring the utmost caution in proceeding along the narrow 
edge that separated the north from the central crater ; a false step, or 
the detaching of a small rock or stone, would have sent hundreds of 
the huge blocks headlong below. We passed over without accident ; 
and blocks of stone that before I had conceived to be large, dimi- 
nished to small stones, in comparison with those we were passing over 
by jumping from one to the other. Many of us sank down from 
exhaustion when we reached the opposite bank. How I accomplished 
the remaining two miles I am unable to say, unless it were by virtue 
of the stimulant that the prospect of being benighted gave me. When 
we arrived, the sun had set, and we were all completely exhausted. 

On our return we found the village filled with half-naked natives, 
who had come up, lured by the fine weather, and in hopes of getting 
their loads to return immediately, for the following day had been 
originally fixed upon for breaking up our camp. It was impossible 
to allow them to return : the night had closed in, and it became neces- 
sary to accommodate some forty natives with lodging and comforts. 
Although I was worn down, this was too strong a case to go unat- 
tended to ; and the only place where I could stow them was the pen- 
dulum-house. I therefore took down and packed away the clock and 
apparatus, and gave them the house to lodge in. With the dry grass 
on its floor and roof, and plenty to eat, they made themselves quite 

During the time I was thus engaged, I began to feel as if cobwebs 
had passed over my face and eyes, and found the same feeling pre- 
vailed with two or three of the men who had accompanied me during 
the day. To this feeling succeeded excessive irritation and inflamma- 
tion of the eyes and eyelids, brought on by exposure to the strong 
glare from the snow. Dr. Judd was kind enough to make various 
applications, but none of these produced any effect, and I felt forcibly 
the horror of probable blindness ; indeed I was so for the time, and 
notwithstanding all my fatigues, I passed a sleepless night in great 
pain. The night was stormy : the thermometer fell to 17. I, how- 

VOL. iv. 02 21 



ever, determined to leave the station in the morning, if I had to be led 
down the mountain, which I thought very probable. One consolation, 
however, remained: my physical energies had not given way until 
every part of the objects of my ascent of Mauna Loa had been fully 







K I L A U E A. 

WHEN day broke, on the 13th January, all was bustle on the summit 
of Mauna Loa. Every one was engaged in taking down and packing 
up the instruments and equipage, loaded with which the native labourers 
scampered off. Some of them, indeed, unable to bear the cold any 
longer, and hoping to obtain loads afterwards, withdrew without 

At nine o'clock, Dr. Judd, myself, and six of the crew of the Vin- 
cennes, bade adieu to the walled village we had built. The men 
showed their delight at quitting this barren and desolate spot by three 
hearty cheers. It was no little gratification to me to be able to take 
my departure, after having successfully accomplished all the duties 
assigned to me here, without any serious mishap, except in the case 
of Longley, although all the party had been more or less sufferers 
from the mountain-sickness. 

Dr. Judd remarked, in relation to the manner in which the natives 
were attacked by this disease, that the general symptoms were colic, 
vomiting, and diarrhrea ; that one or two were affected with spitting 
of blood, and a few had fever and ague. A yellowness of skin, with 
headache and giddiness, were experienced by nearly all the party, 
while several were seized with asthma and rheumatism, and a few 
had scorbutic symptoms. 

Dr. Judd always found that great hunger was felt, although the 
ability to eat at meals was wanting. 

A variableness of the pulse during the day, which the least excite- 
ment would cause to rise, was experienced by all, the variation 
amounting to from thirtv to forty beats. 



During the whole time that we were above the height of nine thou- 
sand feet, there were only one or two days in which the electrical 
excitement of the atmosphere was not apparent, and those were ex- 
ceedingly damp; the electroscope, in fact, was in constant action 
during our stay. 

Previous to our departure, I had the words " Pendulum Peak, 
January 1841," cut in the lava within our village. J. G. Clarke, one 
of the seamen belonging to the Vincennes, who made these marks 
came to me and desired, on the part of the men, that I would allow 
them to add to it U. S. Ex. Ex., in order that there might be no 
mistake as to who had been there ; to this I readily gave my consent. 
This was the same man who had been wounded at Malolo, and one 
of the best and most useful we had with us; in himself he united many 
employments, as a seamen, drummer, fifer, cook, and stone-cutter ; 
knew a little of physic, sang a good sailor's song, and was withal a 

Lieutenant Budd and Mr. Eld were left, with a party of men, to 
repeat a few observations with the intensity needles, and .to obtain 
angles for a distant position. 

The wind, when we set out, blew very strong from the southwest, 
and flurries of snow were passing by every few minutes. In two 
hours we reached the Recruiting Station, where we found Lieutenant 
Alden and many Kanakas on their way up. After a rest of two hours, 
and obtaining new shoes, we went on and reached the Sunday Station 
at five o'clock, scarcely able to drag one foot after the other. Here 
we were soon enveloped in mist, and found the soft and delightful 
temperature of spring. I cannot venture to describe the effect this 
produced on us after our three weeks' sojourn on the cold, bleak, and 
barren summit. I felt for the first time in my life fairly broken down, 
and almost past the soothing effects of the loomi-loomi, which the 
natives at once offered as a relief to me : it may be called a lesser 
shampooing, and consists, as practised in the Sandwich Islands, of a 
gentle kneading of the limbs, which has a great tendency to restore 
the circulation, and relax the muscles and joints. The natives use it 
for rheumatism, headache, and all kinds of pains. It requires some 
skill to do it well, and there is the greatest difference in the perform- 
ance between persons who are practised in it and those who are not. 
The chiefs generally have two persons employed at the same time. 
We soon had a good fire made before our Hawaiian hut ; its warmth, 
together with an excellent supper, made us comfortable, and we were 
soon asleep on the dried grass. 

The next morning, when I awoke, all nature seemed to be alive: the 


songs of the birds, the cheerful voices of the natives, were delightful ; 
the green foliage gave every thing an air of spring. We were so stiff 
as scarcely to be able to move, which was all that now remained to re- 
mind us of the scenes we had left, and the fatigues we had undergone. 
When we again set off, it was amusing to see the whole party moving 
along with their stiff and aching limbs, trying to appear but little 
fatigued. At twelve o'clock we reached the station where he had 
abandoned our chairs, and I never was more relieved than when I 
reached mine, for I was quite unable to walk any further. Here, also, 
we were met by the natives with fruit ; indeed, every step we took 
seemed to be restoring us to the comforts of life. Late in the after- 
noon of the 14th we reached the crater of Kilauea, after an absence of 
twenty-eight days, eight of which had been consumed in travelling, six 
in going up and two in returning from the summit. 

The dome of Mauna Loa looked full as beautiful to the eye as it did 
on our way up, but the experience we had had of its surface, and the 
difficulties we had encountered, were not so soon to be forgotten, and 
arrayed it in different colours to the mind. On passing down the last 
strip of Mauna Loa, we came to a spot which had apparently been a 
crater of large size. What we supposed to have been the bottom of it, 
is considerably below the extensive plain which surrounds Kilauea, and 
between them is a broad and deep fissure, running in a northeast di- 
rection, towards the sulphur-bank on the north side of the volcano 
of Kilauea, which terminates in a precipice from fifty to two hundred 
feet in depth, showing that the whole plain around Kilauea must have 
sunk at some remote period. 

Wishing to be more protected from the cold wind that draws from 
Mauna Kea (on the north), we passed over to what I have called Wal- 
dron's Ledge (after Purser Waldron of the Vincennes), which is the 
usual and by far the most commodious point to encamp at, besides 
offering one of the most beautiful views of the volcano. 

The day on which we left Lieutenant Budd and Mr. Eld at the 
crater, proved very stormy, and the night one of the severest they had 
experienced, being extremely cold, and the wind approaching a hurri- 
cane. The wind, according to these officers, came howling over the 
crater, and when the blast struck their tent, it resembled the discharge 
of light artillery, making the canvass quiver as if it would be rent in 
ten thousand shreds. After each blast a deathlike stillness followed, 
which served to make the roar of the succeeding one more awful. 
One of the tents belonging to the men was blown down, but they re- 
mained under it, as on a former occasion. In the morning, it was 
found that many of the panels of the pendulum-house had been hurled 


several hundred feet, and some of them even broken into splinters. It 
blew so heavily throughout the day, that these officers were unable to 
accomplish the remaining duties. 

The 15th proved a delightful day, and they succeeded at an early 
hour, in accomplishing the work which remained. Sixty or seventy 
Kanakas made their appearance, who were despatched with the re- 
maining articles. They recollected the clock-case, which had given 
Mr. Eld so much trouble in ascending, but he now took measures to 
secure its going in advance, by sending it off first, borne by eight men. 
Some of these, however, absconded the moment they got out of his 
sight. It was at last placed under the special care of a chief, and gave 
Mr. Eld no farther trouble. 

Previous to leaving the crater, Lieutenant Budd stationed a man at 
the flag-staff; three cheers were then given, and the flag hauled down. 
The walls were left standing, resembling those of a small fortress. 
There was not one of the party but felt a great satisfaction in leaving 
this dreary spot, where they had all suffered much from fatigue, cold, 
and hunger. 

When about departing, these officers observed a Kanaka who, from 
his taking a wrong direction, appeared to be somewhat bewildered ; 
but on being called, he gladly took the last remaining load, consisting 
of some camp equipage and mess utensils, with some provisions. They 
then left the summit and descended as far as the Recruiting Station, 
where they stayed over-night. By nightfall, all the articles, including 
the heavy clock-case, had arrived, but no one had noticed the Kanaka 
with the calabashes, or thought of him, except to suppose that he would 
come down in due season, or had actually gone on. Nothing, how- 
ever, was ever heard of this man ; and although diligent search was 
made for him for some days after by the natives, yet it resulted in no 
trace of him, or of any thing that could lead to a knowledge of his 
actual fate. It is supposed that he must have lost the track, and pro- 
bably suffered a lingering death. With the exception of the misfortune 
of poor Longley, this was the only serious accident that occurred 
during our whole trip. Langley is a confirmed invalid, and as such 
has been allowed a pension by the government. 

This party reached the volcano on the 17th. I had by that time 
spent a few days in making a survey of it, obtaining specimens, and 
examining its whole interior. On the day after our arrival, although 
we were not able to make much exertion, we visited the north sulplur- 
banks, and on passing to them by the plain, we found great quantities 
of a species of whortleberry, called by the natives ohelas, of an agree- 
able sweetish taste, and as large as cranberries. 


The sulphur-bank is about one hundred and fifty yards in length 
by about forty wide, and is separated from the perpendicular basaltic 
rocks that bound the plain, by a chasm from which steam issues in 
quantities. By descending into it as far as the heat would permit, 
we obtained some beautiful crystallized masses of sulphur, which we 
found in small cavities. In some parts of the chasm, the temperature 
was at the boiling point. The bank seemed to be formed by the 
decomposition of the rock, through the agency of heat and water. 
Without the chasm, the bank was formed of an unctuous, red and 
blue clay, or rather marl, so nearly allied to a pigment, that I under- 
stood it had been used as a wash or paint by the missionaries. The 
steam from below seemed to be penetrating and saturating the whole 
bank. We returned to our encampment well laden with specimens. 

During the day I had signals put up on the points surrounding the 
crater, and made every preparation for surveying it the next day. 
Dr. Judd volunteered to go down into the crater, with a party of 
natives, to endeavour to obtain some gases with the apparatus we had 
Drought from the ship, (which we disinterred here,) and at the same 
time to procure some liquid lava, by dipping it up from the boiling 
cauldron. For this purpose we thought of many contrivances, but at 
last fixed upon one of the frying-pans, as the article best calculated to 
effect the object when lashed to a long pole. 

On the 16th, Dr. Judd and I set out on our several tasks. The 
various instruments with which we were provided caused us much 
amusement; but I was somewhat uneasy and doubtful relative to his 
descent and prospect of obtaining the objects of his search, for I knew 
the state of the crater; but the doctor, always enthusiastic, parted from 
me in high spirits, with his party of natives, after receiving many cau- 
tions not to be too venturesome. I waited to see him pass over the 
edge of the bank, and then went to my work of triangulation. 

The wind was strong from the northeast, and though clear, the 
weather was unpleasant. After measuring my base, I visited all the 
stations around the crater in their turn. The banks, like those on 
the south side, are formed of sand and pumice, of which the former 
is most abundant, and occurs in strata, of from six to eight inches in 
depth. On the southwest side of the crater we did not find the gases 
so perceptible or suffocating as I had been led to expect from the 
natives' account, who urged numerous objections in order to prevent 
my going there, for they imagined that they would have a difficult 
journey. They told many stories of persons falling through the 
sand : this I could not understand until one of my men suddenly 
sunk in up to his middle, which at once caused us to make a halt, 

VOL. iv. p 22 


and examine the ground. The cause of this accident I found to be, 
That the sand and pumice had accumulated in the Great Steam-crack, 
that leads off in the direction of Papapala (nearly south), and had 
filled it almost to a level with the rest of the surface. It may easily 
be conceived how this could be done by these materials, possessing 
as they do somewhat of an adhesive quality, resulting partly from 
their glassy points and fibres. In treading on these places, the person 
immediately falls down, which prevents him from sinking farther. 
Such was the terror that came over him, that he crawled with great 
rapidity to a place where he could find a point of safety or firmer 
ground, to rise upon. The natives, in passing over these sands, were 
always desirous of feeling their way with a stick. 

What is the most remarkable circumstance about this volcano is, 
that a short distance from it there is no appearance of such a pheno- 
menon being near, and one cannot help expressing much astonishment 
on approaching the edge, to see it so close at hand. From every part 
of the bank, it is a wonderful sight; but the view from the northern 
side to me was the finest, as the whole of this mighty laboratory of 
nature is there embraced in one view. The oldest native traditions 
record it to have been in constant operation. 

On the southeast side there are some loose blocks of lava, that have 
somewhat the appearance of having been ejected, but they are few in 
number. Stones were more numerous on this side, although they 
would not perhaps warrant the opinion that there has been an eruption 
of stones. There is but little doubt that the sand is thrown out at 
times in considerable quantities, and scattered around. This is the 
only way in which the plain surrounding the crater could be covered 
as it has been. 

On my route I passed a third crater, the name of which I could not 
learn : the natives who were with me seemed to know little about it. 
There were several cones of coloured scoria, particularly a red one of 
large size within it. The dimensions of this crater were found to be 
three thousand feet in diameter, and about three hundred feet in depth. 
Finding that I had no time to spare, I was obliged to forego the idea 
of descending into it. 

There is a tradition which relates that a whole army was once 
buried by the sand and ashes, while they were marching by, and that 
the shower was so great as to produce almost total darkness. This 
sand, I would here remark, bears a strong resemblance to that of the 
sand-hills caused by the late eruption at Nanavalie, which will be here- 
after spoken of. 

During the month that intervened between our visits, the black ledge 


had undergone some change. This was ascertained by a comparison 
of the outlines of the lower pit, bounded by the ledge, on the two 
occasions. A large projecting point on the east side of the black 
ledge had disappeared. The lakes of fire continued nearly the same, 
though the small one in the larger area seemed less active. 

At about three o'clock, when I had reached the eastern edge of Lua 
Pele, all the party who were with me remarked a large column of 
smoke rising from that crater, and we, in consequence, ran towards 
the bank; but the sulphur-banks concealed the bottom of the crater and 
black ledge from our view. It immediately occurred to me, that an 
outbreak had taken place, by which the whole bottom of the lower 
crater would be overflowed, and that my friend, Dr. Judd, would find 
himself in a dangerous position, as he must at the time be near it. 
Not being able to reach any place where we could relieve our appre- 
hensions, we were forced to continue our route, and shortly after 
descended to what is known as Lord Byron's Ledge, which lies be- 
tween the two craters, Lua Pele (Pele's Pit) and Kilauea. The 
position of the hut occupied by Lord Byron is close to the brink of 
Kilauea. I noticed this place as proving that a recent eruption has 
taken place on the ledge. A flow of igneous matter has evidently run 
into both craters, and has covered the ledge with large sheets of lava. 
These are here and there broken through, forming a kind of funnel or 
bridge, from beneath which the lava has flowed, leaving the soil in 
places uninjured. Numbers of ferns, having a luxuriant growth, were 
found under these immense slabs. In examining the edge of the bank, 
I became satisfied of the correctness of the above opinion, as the flow 
over the ledge seems to have come from beneath, and to have coursed 
down the sides, either in broad ribands, or in streams like large cables, 
coiling themselves in confused layers on the black ledge. The flow 
into the pit seemed to be less fluid, as it did not reach the bottom, and 
flowed in one broad stream. Passing on, we reached the bluff bound- 
ing Waldron's Ledge, which is the highest part around the crater : it 
is bold and projecting, and in some places the path leads close under 
it, among large blocks that have fallen from it, either by the shaking 
of earthquakes or decomposition by time. 

The annexed plate is taken from a camera lucida sketch, by Mr. 
Drayton ; and gives an idea of the stratification of the walls around 
the crater. 

When we ascended the bank, it became evident that the eruption 
had taken place at the small crater : this gave rise to much uneasiness 
respecting the party that had gone down. I searched with my glass 
in every part of the crater, but saw no one, although I was convinced 

172 K I L A U E A. 

that they could not have proceeded up before us. When I returned to 
the encampment, Dr. Judd was not to be found there, and nothing had 
been heard of him. 

I therefore felt great relief, when in about a quarter of an hour I 
saw the party returning. On greeting Dr. Judd, I received from him 
the following account. 

After he left me, he proceeded with the natives down the ravine into 
the crater ; thence along the black ledge to its western part, where 
he descended by the same toilsome path that had been followed a 
month before. After reaching the bottom, he found a convenient 
steam-hole, whence a strong sulphureous gas issued; and he then 
arranged the apparatus for collecting it. This was found to answer 
the purpose, and was readily and completely absorbed by water. The 
gas was then collected in a phial containing red-cabbage water turned 
blue by lime, when it became intensely red. 

Dr. Judd then sought for a place where he might dip up some of 
the recent and yet fluid lava, but found none sufficiently liquid for the 
purpose. Failing here, he proceeded towards the great fiery lake at 
the southern extremity of the crater. He found that the ascent towards 
this was rapid, because the successive flowings of the lava had formed 
crusts, which lapped over each other. This rock was so dark in 
colour, as to be almost black, and so hot as to act upon spittle just as 
iron, heated nearly to redness, w r ould have done. On breaking through 
the outer crust, which was two or three inches thick, the mass beneath, 
although solid, was of a cherry-red. The pole with which the crust 
was pierced, took fire as it was withdrawn. It was evidently impos- 
sible to approach any nearer in this direction ; for although the heat 
might not be so intense as to prevent walking on the crust, yet the 
crust itself might be too weak to bear the weight, and to break through 
would have been to meet a death of the most appalling kind. Dr. 
Judd, therefore, turned towards the west bank, on which he mounted 
to a higher level over stones too hot to be touched, but from which his 
feet were defended by stout woollen stockings and sandals of hide, 
worn over his shoes. When he had proceeded as far as he could in 
this direction, he saw at the distance of about thirty feet from him, a 
stream of lava running down the declivity over which he and his com- 
panions had ascended. Even this distance was too great to be reached 
over, and the intervening rocks had become so heated by the continual 
stream, that they could not be traversed. 

At this time, they were very near the great lake, but could not see 
its surface, which was still about twenty feet higher than the spot 
where they stood. Jets of lava were, however, observed rising about 


twenty-five feet, and falling back again into the lake. Dr. Judd now 
despaired of gratifying his own wishes and mine, by obtaining lava 
in the liquid state, and ordered a retreat. 

On his return, the party passed the small crater which has been 
spoken of; and which, by comparison with the larger one, appeared 
cool. Smoke and a little igneous matter were issuing from a small 
cone in its centre; but with this exception, a crust of solid lava 
covered the bottom. 

On the sides of this crater, Dr. Judd saw some fine specimens of 
capillary glass, " Pele's hair," which he was anxious to obtain for our 
collection. He, therefore, by the aid of the hand of one of the natives, 
descended, and began to collect specimens. When fairly down, he 
was in danger of falling, in consequence of the narrowness of the 
footing ; but in spite of this difficulty, his anxiety to select the best 
specimens enticed him onwards. While thus advancing, he saw and 
heard a slight movement in the lava about fifty feet from him, which 
was twice repeated, and curiosity led him to turn to approach the 
place where the motion occurred. In an instant, the crust was broken 
asunder by a terrific heave, and a jet of molten lava, full fifteen feet in 
diameter, rose to the height of about forty-five feet, with a most appalling 
noise. He instantly turned for the purpose of escaping ; but found that 
he was now under a projecting ledge, which opposed his ascent, and 
that the place where he had descended was some feet distant. The 
heat was already too great to permit him to turn his face towards it, 
and w r as every moment increasing ; while the violence of the throes, 
which shook the rock beneath his feet, augmented. Although he con- 
sidered his life as lost, he did not omit the means for preserving it; 
but offering a mental prayer for the Divine aid, he strove, although in 
vain, to scale the projecting rock. While thus engaged, he called in 
English upon his native attendants for aid ; and looking upwards, saw 
the friendly hand of Kalumo, who on this fearful occasion had not 
abandoned his spiritual guide and friend, extended towards him. Ere 
he could grasp it, the fiery jet again rose above their heads, and Kalumo 
shrunk back, scorched and terrified, until excited by a second appeal, 
he again stretched forth his hand, and seizing Dr. Judd's with a giant's 
grasp, their joint efforts placed him on the ledge. Another moment, 
and all aid would have been unavailing to save Dr. Judd from perishing 
in the fiery deluge. 

In looking for the natives, they were seen some hundreds of yards 
distant, running as fast as their legs could carry them. On his calling 
to them, however, they returned, and brought the frying-pan and pole. 
By this time, about ten or fifteen minutes had elapsed ; the crater was 


174 K I L A U E A. 

full of lava, running over at the lower or northern side, when Dr. Judd 
was enabled to dip up a pan of it ; it was, however, too cold to take an 
impression, and had a crust on its top. On a second trial he was suc- 
cessful, and while it was red hot, he endeavoured to stamp it with a 
navy button, but the whole sunk by its own weight, being composed of 
a frothy lava, and became suddenly cold, leaving only the mark of the 
general shape of the button, without any distinct impression. The cake 
he thus obtained, (for it resembled precisely a charred pound-cake,) 
was added to our collections, and is now in the hall where they are 
deposited. This lake I have designated as Judd's Lake, and believe 
that few will dispute his being entitled to the honour of having it called 
after him. Dr. Judd now found that he had no time to lose, for the 
lava was flowing so rapidly to the north, that their retreat might be cut 
off, and the whole party be destroyed. They therefore at once took 
leave of the spot, and only effected their escape by running. When the 
danger was past, Dr. Judd began to feel some smarting at his wrists 
and elbows, and perceived that his shirt was a little scorched. By the 
time he reached the tents, and we had examined him, he was found to 
be severely burned on each wrist, in spots of the size of a dollar, and 
also on his elbows, and wherever his shirt had touched his skin. 
Kalurno's whole face was one blister, particularly that side which had 
been most exposed to the fire. 

The crater had been previously measured by Dr. Judd, and was 
found to be thirty-eight feet deep by two hundred feet in diameter. 
The rapidity of its filling (in twelve minutes) will give some idea of 
the quantity of the fluid mass. 

Towards evening, although very much fatigued, we walked down to 
the edge of the bank, to have a view of the eruption that was flowing 
from this small lake ; and although I had thought it impossible that the 
appearance the great burning lake presented on my first visit could be 
exceeded, yet this far surpassed it. The most brilliant pyrotechnics 
would have faded before what we now saw. A better idea of the light 
given out by this volcano, will be obtained by the fact that it some- 
times produces rainbows in the passing rain-clouds, one of which was 
seen by Mr. Dray ton. The whole bottom of the crater north of Judd's 
Lake, upwards of a mile and a half in length and half a mile in width, 
was covered with fluid lava, running in streams, as though it had been 
water. These here and there divided, and then joined again, tumbling 
in rapids and falls over the different ledges. The streams were of a 
glowing cherry-red colour, illuminating the whole crater around ; the 
large lake beyond seemed swelling and becoming more vivid, so that 
we expected every moment to see an overflow from it of greater gran- 


deur. We sat watching the progress of both for many hours under 
great excitement, and saw the formation of pools of the igneous liquid, 
one after the other, until accumulating they overflowed the banks, and 
rushed on to fill some cavities beyond. We could not but feel our- 
selves identified with this spectacle, by the occurrences of the day, and 
in particular by the fortunate escape of our companion ; and we sat 
speculating on the horrible situation of one cut off' from escape by these 
red-hot streams. The sight was magnificent, and worth a voyage 
round the world to witness. It was with regret that I returned to our 
tent, determining in my own mind to have a nearer view of this over- 
flow, in the morning. 

We arose early, and our attention was immediately called to the 
crater. The large lake had sunk out of sight from our position, while 
the smaller one was seen to be still overflowing its banks, thus proving 
satisfactorily that their fires have no connexion with each other. Upon 
the whole I was glad to see this state of things, as it would afford me 
an opportunity of getting near the large lake, to obtain an accurate 
measurement of it. 

At an early hour I started with a party, consisting of Lieutenant 
Budd, who had joined me on his descent from the mountain, and 
several men. We descended by the usual path, and on reaching the 
black ledge, we made measurements of its width, and took some angles 
to ascertain the height of its banks. Lieutenant Budd then, with some 
of the men, was ordered to descend to the bottom of the crater, and get 
similar observations for the altitude of the black ledge above the bottom, 
after which to ascend to the black ledge, and proceed by the west side 
towards its southern end. 

The result of these observations gave six hundred and fifty feet 
for the height of the bank above the black ledge, and the latter 
was found to be three hundred and forty-two feet above the bottom : 
thus the total depth of the crater was nine hundred and ninety-two 

With some of the men I proceeded towards the great sulphur-bank, 
on the east side, fixing my positions as I went along, by observing on 
the signals which I had used the day before. When we arrived oppo- 
site to Judd's Lake, we went to the edge of the black ledge, where, in 
looking over, the heated air that arose might be said to be almost 
scorching. The whole area below was filled with fluid which ap- 
peared of a red heat, and still flowed to the north. Its surface was 
level, when compared with what Dr. Judd had found it the day before. 
Near this place were several holes in the black ledge, about two 
hundred feet in diameter, where it had caved in, exhibiting large 


chambers of great depth. Beyond these holes were innumerable cracks, 
increasing as we approached the southern end, to which I was hasten- 
ing, because I had concluded to finish this part of the work before 
we became exhausted. In passing over these cracks, it became 
necessary to put the hand over the mouth to avoid the heated 
blast, which, as we proceeded, became more stifling with fumes of 

We at last reached the extreme end, where we measured our line, 
and took the angles as quickly as possible. The lake proved, from 
my measurement, to be fifteen hundred feet in length, by one thousand 
in width, and I found that it had sunk about one hundred feet during 
the last night, supposing Dr. Judd's estimate of its being twenty feet 
below its edge to be correct. It now appeared to be but little agitated, 
and the rocks on its side were left as if spattered with pitch, probably 
by the same kind of lava as that we had observed on the top of the 

Just as I had completed the measurement, the sergeant gave me 
notice that he had perceived a movement in the bank, upon which I 
ordered a hasty retreat. One of the men who was before stumbled in 
his hurry, and fell, disappearing from our sight; we instantly stopped, 
and my heart rose to my throat. I could scarcely believe my eyes 
when I saw him rise again from the crust of lava, through which he 
had fallen into a chasm. 

As we approached the sulphur-banks, there was much more heat 
and many more signs of action near it; the sulphur-bank was seen to 
be constantly in action, if I may so express it, similar to the slaking 
of lime. Numerous specimens of sulphur were obtained here, and one 
of a sulphate of copper of a fine blue colour. These crystals of sul- 
phur were by no means so beautiful as we had found them at the 
northern bank. 

In several of the caverns were stalactites in the form of a long cone, 
of a black colour, from eighteen inches to two feet in length, and an 
inch in diameter at the base : these were found to be solid, and of a 
silicious matter. 

To stand on the black ledge and look around on the desolation 
which appears on every side, produces a feeling similar to those with 
which the scene of some dreadful conflagration would be viewed. 
The same description of sadness is felt that such a prospect would 
create, while there is in addition a feeling of insecurity, arising from 
the fires that are raging around, and are known to exist underneath. 

Although the black ledge has the appearance of being level when 
seen from the top of the wall, it is not found to be so. It varies in 

K I L A U E A. 177 

width from six hundred to two thousand feet, and has been overrun 
in various directions by streams of lava, varying in size from that of 
a serpent to an immense trunk or tunnel, which, after spreading, pass 
down into some chasm and are lost. The view around has nothing 
earthly in it; one cannot comprehend how rock can be thus fused 
without the agency of fuel. Our notions of the solidity of stone must 
here undergo a total change ; and there appeared nothing belonging to 
this world at hand with which to form a comparison. 

Our party seemed absolutely lost in this immense pit It takes some 
time before the eye can embrace the whole, or become in any way 
accustomed to the scene around ; and I therefore ceased to wonder at 
the discrepancies in the descriptions I had heard of it. From this 
cause, and the want of any accurate drawings by preceding visitors, 
I was unable to arrive at any distinct knowledge of the changes it has 
undergone ; but I hope that our observations and survey will prevent 
this from being the case hereafter. 

The varieties of lava that are met with are not the least striking 
part of this phenomenon. The description which appears to predomi- 
nate is of a dark hue, and metallic lustre; it lies in a layer a foot 
thick, and is quite solid : the others are less dense, more vesicular, and 
vitreous. Each separate flow seems to differ from the succeeding 
one, and can be easily recognised. It afforded us some amusement to 
trace the extent and character of the several beds. That which was 
ignited during our stay was in many parts so vitreous as to be almost 
obsidian. Pumice is generally found in small lumps on the plain 
above ; but I do not now remember, nor does my note-book make any 
mention, that pumice had been seen in the crater. 

As the layers or strata of basalt increase in thickness, they become 
more compact. The absence of clinkers and of any flow of lava on the 
plain, prove conclusively that Kilauea has never overflowed its banks. 

The crevice to the south extends for a great distance, and may be 
traced by the steam issuing from it ; it is not, however, to be consi- 
dered as continuous, for the cracks are of different lengths, and some- 
times overlap each other, and again are intermitted for hundreds of 
yards. Large quantities of Pele's hair was seen covering the plain. 

In order to show how difficult it is to fix upon the recollection the 
actual state of the crater, and the position of things around, I may 
state, that one of our gentlemen insisted upon it that the large " blow- 
ing cone," near the north side of the black ledge, had been thrown up 
since our first visit, although it was then, as it continued to be, one of 
the most conspicuous objects in the crater, and likely to attract par- 
ticular notice. It was difficult to convince him that it had been there 

VOL. iv. 23 

178 K I L A U E A. 

during his first visit, until I showed him a camera lucida sketch that 
I had taken of the crater, in which it appeared conspicuous in the 

Our track from the sulphur-banks was directly to the place of ascent. 
Laden with specimens, we returned, quite worn out, to our encamp- 
ment before sunset. Lieutenant Budd, who had not succeeded in 
reaching the end of the black ledge, returned shortly after us. On his 
side, the air was too hot and stifling to permit this object to be accom- 
plished ; and, although I was watching for him with my spyglass, I 
could see nothing of him after we parted. 

In doing this, I perceived a curious effect of refraction, produced 
by looking over the lakes, when the line of sight passed through the 
heated columns of air as they arose from the fluid below. The 
opposite bank seemed at times in motion, dancing up and down, as 
the breakers on the sea-shore are sometimes seen to do. The strati- 
fication of the rocks seemed to be twisting and dancing up and down 

After being at this volcano four days, I was as little disposed to 
leave it as at first; it is one of those places that grow in interest, and 
excite all the energies both of body and mind: the one to undergo 
the necessary fatigue, and the other to comprehend the various phe- 

The discharge from the large lake during the night of the 17th, 
must have been equal to fifteen million cubic feet of melted rock ; 
this, undoubtedly, found cavities to receive it on the line of the erup- 
tion. It is impossible to calculate the discharge from the smaller, or 
Judd's Lake, but supposing it had continued as rapid as it was at the 
first filling, it would have thrown out, by the time I was there next 
day, upwards of two hundred million cubic feet of lava. It will 
readily be perceived, that with such a flood, it would be possible, 
within the lapse of a period comparatively short, geologically speak- 
ing, for a mound the size of Mauna Loa to be heaped up. However 
large the above numbers may seem to be, we have reason to suppose, 
from appearances, that the " boiling up" and overflow of the terminal 
crater of Mauna Loa must have been far greater, so much so indeed 
that the outpourings of Kilauea cannot bear a comparison with it. Its 
whole height, of more than six thousand feet above the plain of lava, 
appears, as I have before noticed, to be entirely owing to the accumu- 
lation of ejected matter. 

All the parties having arrived, I despatched them to Hilo, with the 
exception of Lieutenant Alden, who was ordered to pass by the cone 
of Tulani, an old crater on the north flank of Mauna Loa, in order^to 


get a set of angles, to connect our stations at the volcano immediately 
with the ship at Hilo. 

Previous to our departure this morning, we missed two small brass 
disks belonging to one of the instruments. I mention this as the only 
theft that had hitherto occurred, notwithstanding our instruments were 
necessarily much exposed, and a large number of natives always 
around us. Diligent search and inquiry were made for them, but 
without success. 

As the parties were about setting out, Mr. Eld desired to descend 
into the crater, to satisfy his curiosity. He was also instructed to 
obtain the measurement, as I was desirous of proving my own as well 
as Lieutenant Budd's observations. 

The measurements coincided within a few feet of each other. 

Dr. Judd and myself took up our march about noon, in order to 
follow the line of pit-craters and the late eruption of lava on the east. 
Our company, on this route, consisted of about forty, including Dr. 
Judd, the servants, six seamen, and the Kanakas who were employed 
as bearers and carriers of the baggage, tents, &c. One half of these 
were well loaded with poe, as it generally requires one man to carry 
food for two, and without taking one's own supplies, it would be im- 
possible to think of travelling in this country. 

We were extremely fortunate in our Kanakas, who were a body of 
fine young men, that had come up from Kapoho, the southeast point 
of the island, with provisions for sale, when Dr. Judd engaged them to 
become our carriers. This was opportune, as they were all well ac- 
quainted with the road we were about to travel. 

The first object we passed on our route, was Lua Pele, (the Pit of 
Pele,) to which the road approached within a few rods. We had a 
beautiful view of this crater, which is circular and nearly filled up 
with trees, with the exception of the bottom, where a patch of black 
lava was seen. The variety of the green tints of these trees produced 
a singular effect. This crater has long been in a state of rest, and 
seems to have been very different from the great crater of Kilauea, 
both in its mode of action and the character of its lava. 

A little beyond Lua Pele we passed a deep crevice, about four feet 
wide : this runs towards a rise in the plain, of about sixty to eighty 
feet, which extends in a" southerly direction, and is, apparently, the, 
boundary of the crater-plain on the east side. This crevice is some- 
what similar to that which I remarked on the western side, and so far 
as could be judged by the eye, seemed to be inclined towards the great 

K I L A U E A. 

We continued our route towards the southeast, over a plain partly 
covered with sand, and at the distance of two miles passed the pit-crater 
of Kalanokamo : this is the fourth from the crater of Kilauea in a 
southeast direction. 

By the term " pit-crater," is meant that description of crater of which 
there is no appearance whatever until one is close upon it, and which 
never throws out lava. The formation of these might be occasioned 
by the undermining of the part beneath them. It will be seen, on view- 
ing the map, that some of them have only a small part of their bottom 
covered with lava. The most probable conjecture, in relation to their 
origin, that occurred to us while moving over the ground was, that a 
stream of lava had passed underneath, and running off had left large 
cavities, into which the superincumbent rock above, not having support, 
had fallen, and when this had sunk sufficiently low, the lava had flowed 
in and filled the bottom. Some of these pit-craters aje from eight 
hundred to one thousand feet deep, but none that I saw had the appear- 
ance of eruption within themselves. 

There is another description of craters, which may be called cone- 
craters. These are hills of scoria and ashes, formed by the ejection of 
masses, which appear to be of the same description of lava as the 
clinkers of Mauna Loa, though they more nearly resemble the dregs 
from a furnace. 

The first cone-crater we met with was about a mile beyond Kalauo- 
hana, and is called Puukehulu. This I ascended, and measured its 
height, which was eight hundred feet above the plain : it was nearly a 
perfect cone, both within and without, and covered with trees both out- 
side and in. The ashes were in some places so light and dry, that I 
sank in them up to my knees. From the top of this cone I had a fine 
view of the surrounding country, and was enabled to see all the pit and 
cone-craters. There were eight pit-craters in sight : four between us 
and Kilauea, one at the foot of Puukehulu, and three more, further off, 
to the east-southeast : two cone-craters lay to the east of us. The steam 
was rising from the crevices along the line of the last eruption. 

From this situation, angles were obtained on them all, and connected 
with the stations around Kilauea. Mr. Drayton, who had been over 
the route, sent me a map which he had constructed from his own 
observations, on which I was enabled at once to mark out my own 
position accurately. 

The map of the southeast portion of Hawaii was constructed from 
the combined observations of Mr. Drayton and myself, with the addition 
of some cracks and eruptions from Dr. Pickering's notes. The country 


lo the southeast appears well covered with woods, while to the south 
it is bare and barren. The map, however, will give a better idea of it 
than can be derived from any description. 

Nearly at the foot of Puukehulu, is the pit-crater of Alealea-iki, which 
has had a flow of lava into it : it is about five hundred feet in depth, and 
of an elliptical shape. 

We continued our route towards Panau, passing over a rough lava 
country, on which was a young growth of sandalwood and okea trees. 
Before reaching Panau we found ourselves in a luxuriant growth of 
Cape gooseberries (Physalis Peruviana), which we found quite refresh- 
ing after our walk. The natives do not make any use of them, and 
seemed somewhat surprised to see us eat them. 

At Panau we found a large clearing in the woods, and a village, 
consisting of three or four native houses. Here many canoes are 
built and transported to the sea, the trees in the vicinity being large and 
well adapted to this purpose. I was told that they met with a ready 

Dr. Judd, who had been somewhat unwell since his escape, was now 
seized with fever ; and soon after the tent was pitched, went to bed, as 
he felt that he required rest. The burns he had received on his wrists 
hud become very much inflamed ; he, however, found himself much 
belter the next day, and we concluded to proceed. Panau is two 
thousand six hundred and seventy-six feet above the sea, and was found 
by observations to be ten miles southeast of Kilauea. 

In the morning, previous to starting, the men reported to me that 
their frying-pan had been stolen during the night. I therefore ordered 
immediate search and inquiry lo be made for it. Great alarm in con- 
sequence was excited among the natives who attended us ; so much 
indeed, that I ordered the men to desist, conceiving it very probable 
that one of the other natives, who had been flocking in numbers to see 
us, had carried it off. To judge from the scarcity of supplies, the in- 
habitants of this part of the island are very poor. 

We left Panau after half-past eight o'clock, and passed on towards 
the east. After travelling about three miles, we came in sight of the 
ocean, five miles off. Our course now changed to the northeast, and 
before noon we reached an extensive upland taro-patch, where I sat 
down to get the meridian altitude. While thus occupied, I thoughtlessly 
picked a piece of taro-leaf, and put it into my mouth ; in a few minutes 
I was almost gasping for breath, from its acrid juice. It was conse- 
quently with difficulty that I succeeded in getting my observations. 

Our path now led through a sort of jungle, and over ground re- 
sembling a quagmire, for a mile or two. It appeared we had been 

182 K I L A U E A. 

traversing an extensive basin, covered with a dense vegetation, which 
the sun was not able to penetrate. For the first time on our journey, 
we now had plenty of water. On passing beyond this basin, we 
entered upon one of the old lava-plains, where we encamped near a 
pool of water. This plain is covered with stunted shrubs, and the old 
lava seemed more broken than any we had yet passed over since 
leaving the crater. In consequence of a mist, the walking was wet 
and slippery. During the day one of the men fell and sprained his 
ankle, and it became necessary that he should be carried, which office 
his companions performed with an attention that pleased me much. 

There are several peculiarities about the natives which we now 
noticed : among other things they are exceedingly proud of their skin, 
and take it as a great affront to be spattered with mud ; if any thing 
could ruffle a native's temper, it would be this. The young are parti- 
cularly careful to avoid all puddles or mud ; indeed, I thought more so 
than we are with our fine clothes. 

Our encampment was found to be two thousand two hundred and 
sixty-six feet above the sea. The temperature was 64. 

We had now reached the line of the recent eruption, and it was my 
purpose to strike the head of the flow. Mr. Drayton, our consul, and 
Mr. Brackenridge, had already visited the first outbreak of the late 
eruption, of May 1840, which is marked on the map near the pit 
crater of Alealea-nui, and also that to the east of the Old Crater. 
The latter, with that of Kanemuo-kamu, were the largest of the pit- 
craters, always excepting Kilauea. Mr. Drayton considers Kanemuo- 
kamu as the deepest crater he saw on the island, and the Old Crater 
as the most regular. 

As far as we were able to learn, the two eruptions to the east and 
west of Moku-opuhi occurred on the same day, and nearly at the same 

On the 20th of January, it was nine o'clock before we could pro- 
ceed on our journey. The weather was mild and pleasant, and it bade 
fair to be a delightful day. By noon we had reached the position of 
three cone-craters,, of moderate height, the ground about which was 
much broken. We afterwards diverged from the direct path, our 
guide taking us across the country a distance of four miles, on the 
north side of Kalalua. This march proved to be an arduous under- 
taking, for what had appeared to us at a distance to be smooth to 
travel on, proved on a nearer view, to be rough lava clinkers, over- 
grown with grass and stunted shrubbery, that deprived us of the 
opportunity of discovering where we were going to tread. Every few 
steps some of the party fell, and we considered ourselves very fortunate 


in escaping without any broken legs. Almost all the party had their 
feet more or less bruised, and the skin knocked off, by slipping through 
the old and weak crust. Walking over clinkers is, even when one 
can see the way, irksome and dangerous, but passing over them when 
concealed, is particularly so. We all felt ourselves heartily tired, and 
I am satisfied that scarcely any thing would have tempted any of us to 
pass over the route again. What made it more provoking was the 
the ease and facility with which the natives traversed it. 

Towards sunset we had a drizzling rain, and finding it impossible to 
reach Pahuhali, we determined to encamp a mile or two beyond the 
Kaimo road, at the head of the eruption. When this was done, we 
found ourselves with little or nothing to eat in the camp. A messenger 
was therefore forthwith despatched to Pahuhali, and after waiting 
anxiously, and speculating on his success, we were gratified by the 
light of distant torches, and soon found ourselves supplied with all that 
the land afforded pig and taro. The men got a good supper, but 
they had little sleep, for it rained hard and they were completely wet ; 
although protected by tents, we found ourselves floating in water. 

Kalalua is the largest cone-crater in this part of the island ; and I 
was informed it had thrown out lava, but I had not time to examine it. 
Appearances indicated that the native account was true ; the streams 
of pahoihoi, on its flanks, appeared to come from its crater. The 
height is one thousand one hundred feet. 

The altitude of our station above the sea, was one thousand two 
hundred and forty-four feet. The thermometer stood at 70. 

Early on the 21st, we began to examine the locality, and found that 
we were a short distance below the upper part of the eruption. It had 
begun first in a kind of point, and accumulating there, had stretched 
itself out on either side, gathering strength as it went, until after pro- 
ceeding about two miles it became a torrent of fluid rock, from ten to 
fifteen feet in thickness, which swept every thing before it, overlaying 
the soil, and destroying all the vegetation that came in its way. 

After a northeast course of three miles, we entered upon the lava 
stream, where it was about a mile wide, resembling a river congealed 
at once into stone, leaving all its flowings and eddies distinctly marked 
and perpetuated. It was covered here and there with the fallen 
timber, appearing in some instances as if it had been bleached ; only 
a hole was left to mark where each tree had stood, the stump having 
been entirely consumed. These holes were frequently found as much 
as twelve or fifteen feet in depth. Of their origin there can be no 
doubt, and my supposition is, that by the time the tree had been burnt 
off, the rocky stream became fixed, which would account for the tree 


being still so near the place where it had formerly stood. Some of the 
trunks were partly burnt, and others again had epiphytic plants still 
adhering to them. 

In some places lava was found adhering to the leaves and branches 
of trees, appearing as if it had been spattered upon them. In some 
instances the lava thus adhering might have been taken for birds' 
nests, yet the wood exhibited no signs of fire. The circumstance 
which astonished me most, was the state of a copse of bamboos 
(Bambusa arundinacea), which the lava had not only divided, but 
passed on each side of: many of them were still living, and a part of 
the foliage remained uninjured. Some of the large trees, not more 
than twenty feet from the stream, seemed scarcely affected, and yet 
not thirty yards from them we lighted our sticks by putting them 
down no farther than two feet below the surface, although eight 
months had elapsed since the eruption happened. Nearer to the sea, 
all the foliage to the distance of three hundred and fifty yards from 
the lava stream was killed. To account for these circumstances, we 
must suppose either that the lava flows more rapidly, or that its power 
of radiating heat is much less than is generally believed. 

The fixed stream has so much the appearance of a fluid mass that 
it is deceptive, and the whole seemed yet in motion. Fire and srnoke 
were to be seen in many places. Its line of descent to the sea was on 
a declivity of one hundred feet to the mile, and according to the native 
account it reached the sea in two nights and a day thirty-six hours. 
The distance being a little over ten miles, the velocity must have been 
about four hundred feet an hour. 

We proceeded down the lava stream until it expanded to a width 
of three or four miles. There are many fissures along the whole line, 
as will be perceived by the dark places on the map. I feel confident 
that from each of these an ejection had taken place, and that the lava 
had in some cases flowed in a contrary direction to the general course 
of the stream ; for being traced in such cases, it was seen to have pro- 
ceeded from a fissure that, had occurred on rising ground. Wherever 
the ground was steep, it was there perceived that tunnels or hollowed 
places occurred, in consequence of the molten lava having flowed 
from beneath the crust formed by cooling. The upper part of the 
stream was composed of the description of lava called pahoihoi; the 
lower portion was much broken, though not of that description called 
clinkers, and seemed as though it had been crowded together and 
broken up like ice in the breaking up of the frost in our rivers, slab 
overlaying slab, and many of them ground to pieces by the great 
pressure from behind. 

K I L A U E A. 


About six miles from the sea, it appeared as though there had been 
a simultaneous outbreak over a large area. The stream was suffi- 
ciently fluid at all places to 
seek the lowest level, and an 
idea of the flowing may be 
formed from the annexed dia- 
gram, which I sketched from 
the top of a cone. 

Near the centre of this flow 
was a mound that had been 
covered with trees. These 
were all left standing, but had 
not a leaf upon them, which 
increased the desolate appear- 
ance of the scene before us. 
In our walk we occasionally 
met a " blowing cone," with quantities of salts, sulphur, and hot sul- 
phureous gases still issuing from it. 

After having satisfied ourselves with this part, we ascended an old 
crater-hill, and crossing over it, came to an old lava plain of the kind 
called pahoihoi : this appeared quite solid, and its surface was un- 
broken ; there were no holes like those I have described on the recent 
flow ; but in place of them there were a large number of raised 
truncated cones, some of which were inverted. These appeared to me 
to have been lava jets that had resulted from a subsequent flow of the 
upper pahoihoi, which had been forced upwards, cooling as it met the 
air, and congealing. Each of these pillars was perforated with a 
hole from top to bottom, and the lava that composed them was lami- 
nated. The wood-cut of lava jets will be seen at the end of this 

These columns are sometimes twenty feet high, and some of them 
resemble colossal statues of rude workmanship. 

As long as the pahoihoi lasted, we had pleasant walking ; but it did 
not reach far, for the rough lava seemed to predominate in our path, 
and made the way irksome and fatiguing. 

This hill has a tradition attached to it, which one of our guides 
related to us. When Palila, one of their gods, in former times, was 
on the hill roasting bananas, the people of Papapala saw the smoke, 
and went up to ascertain who was there. They found only a boy 
cooking bananas, and attempted to take them from him ; but his power 
\vas such, that he beat them all and drove them down the moun- 
tain ; and they never again ventured to encounter so powerful a god. 

VOL. iv. <* 2 24 


Almost all the hills or craters of any note have some tradition 
connected with them ; but I found that the natives were now generally 
unwilling to narrate these tales, calling them " foolishness." 

After leaving the pahoihoi plain, we passed along the line of cone- 
craters, towards Point Kapoho, the southeast part of the island. 

Of these cone-craters we made out altogether, large and small, 
fifteen, trending about east-northeast. The names of the seven last 
are Pupukai, Poholuaokahowele, Punomakalua, Kapoho, Puukea, 
Puuku, and Keala. On some of these the natives pointed out where 
there had formerly been slides, an amusement or game somewhat 
similar to the sport of boys in riding down hill on sleds. These they 
termed kolua. 

This game does not appear to be practised now, and I suppose that 
the chiefs consider themselves above such boyish amusements. The 
manner in which an old native described the velocity with which 
they passed down these slides, was, by suddenly blowing a puff; ac- 
cording to him, these amusements were periodical, and the slides were 
usually filled with dried grass. 

As we approached the sea-shore, the soil improved very much, and 
was under good cultivation, in taro, sweet-potatoes, sugar-cane, and a 
great variety of fruit and vegetables. At about four o'clock, we 
arrived at the house of our guide, Kekahunanui, who was the " head 
man." I was amused to find that none of the natives knew him by 
this name, and were obliged to ask him, before they could give it to 
Dr. Judd. 

By this little circumstance, we found that it was still customary for 
the natives to change their names, according to their caprice, and it 
appeared that this was the case in the present instance. I neglected 
to put down his former name, which appeared to me as much too 
short as the last was too long. We found him to be a petty chief, 
who superintended lands belonging to another. He had sent on 
in advance orders to have his large house prepared for us; and we 
found that it had been vacated for our accommodation ; but as both 
Dr. Judd and I had been punished before by sleeping in a native house, 
we preferred our tent ; and it was lucky we did so, for the men in- 
formed me the house was infested with fleas. 

The view from the guide's house was quite pretty, the eye passing 
over well-cultivated fields to the ocean, whose roar could be distinctly 
heard. I felt great delight in again seeing it. 

The course which the subterranean stream appears to have taken, 
i* somewhat singular, and may be followed pretty accurately by the 
direction of the steam-cracks. 

K I L A U E A. 187 

From the best information we could obtain, it appeared that the 
lava first showed itself in the crater of Alealea-nui, and burst out next 
within one fourth of a mile of it on the north ; thence it appears to 
have passed under Moku-opuhi, a cone, crater, and reappeared again 
on its opposite side; whence it seems to have had a long subterranean 
course, until it reappeared near the Kaimo road. The natives say, 
that it burst out in eight different places before it reached the sea. An 
intelligent-looking native, whom we met and took as guide, who had 
lived near and appeared perfectly well acquainted with the ground, 
told us, that the recent eruption was preceded by three days of earth- 
quakes; that the lava appeared and ran down to the sea within a single 
day, but that it was three weeks before it was cool enough to bear a 
person on its surface. 

Having time before dark, we determined to pay a visit to the three 
craters nearest the coast, from which they are distant less than a mile 
and a half. They are four hundred and fifty-six feet high, of irregular 
form ; and although each is distinct from the others, yet they seem to 
have, at one time, run into each other. They looked very picturesque 
within ; and one of them, to our surprise, exhibited a well-cultivated 
farm, with a pretty cottage in the middle, surrounded by a few trees. 
One of my Yankee sailors declared, that he would not be ashamed to 
own such a farm and dwelling in New England. 

In the bottom of one of these is a small lake, as smooth as a mirror, 
and of a light-green colour, which contains plenty of fish. After an 
earthquake, its water has frequently turned red and yellow, and smelt 
strongly of brimstone. It is about six fathoms deep, by the report of 
the natives, and two hundred yards across. 

In another of the craters is a pond of fresh water, of small dimen- 
sions. Another crater, near by, is said to have a hot spring in it, 
which the natives use as a bath. 

We returned to our guide's house, where we had an abundance of 
every thing supplied us; and at eight o'clock distinctly heard the 
evening gun on board the Vincennes, at Hilo, a distance of fifteen 
miles. While we were at the crater of Kilauea, the men reported to 
me that they had heard it ; but I was then under the belief that the 
sound was occasioned by an explosion in the volcano. The whole 
country between Hilo and the southeast point of Hawaii, is covered 
with lava ; which may account for the distinct transmission of sound, 
for so great, a distance, from a small howitzer. 

One of the men shot a beautiful white owl, and brought it to my tent, 
where Dr. Judd laid it down, to all appearance quite dead ; a few 
minutes afterwards, to our surprise, it flew away, having been only 


stunned. I regretted its loss; for it was a beautiful specimen, and one 
that we had been endeavouring to obtain for some days past. 

During the night, one of the heaviest rains I had experienced in the 
island, fell ; but the morning was bright and clear, every thing seemed 
to be rejoicing around, particularly the singing-birds, for the variety 
and sweetness of whose notes Hawaii is distinguished. 

Previous to our departure, all the tenantry, if so I may call them, 
came to pay their respects, or rather to take a look at us. We had 
many kind wishes, and a long line of attendants, as we wended our 
way among the numerous taro-patches of the low grounds, towards 
Puna ; and thence along the sea-coast towards the place where the 
lava entered the sea, at Nanavalie. The whole population of this 
section of the country was by the wayside, which gave me an oppor- 
tunity of judging of their number ; this is much larger than might be 
supposed from the condition of the country, for with the exception of 
the point at Kapoho, very little ground that can be cultivated is to be 
seen. The country, however, is considered fruitful by those who are 
acquainted with it, notwithstanding its barren appearance on the road- 
sides. The inhabitants seemed to have abundance of bread-fruit, 
bananas, sugar-cane, taro, and sweet-potatoes. The latter, however, 
are seen to be growing literally among heaps of stones and pieces of 
lava, with scarcely soil enough to cover them ; yet they are, I am 
informed, the finest on the island. 

At Puna, there is a large church ; but no appearance of a village, 
the houses being much scattered. The church, it is said, will contain 
two or three thousand persons. The Rev. Mr. Coan, I understood, 
officiates here occasionally. 

Before reaching Nanavalie, we passed through Kanakiki, a small 
village ; and the sand-hills at the former place were reached before 
noon, when I was enabled to get the meridian observations. The 
height of the highest sand-hill was found to be two hundred and fifty 
feet : it is perpendicular on the side next the sea, which is rapidly 
washing it away. Here we met several natives, who confirmed the 
story of the earthquakes, and said that they had been very severe. 
I have not before stated the fact, that none were felt at Hilo; and 
indeed earthquakes on Hawaii seem to be local. One was said to have 
taken place during my visit to Mauna Loa ; but no one of the party 
felt any shock. 

There are three of these sand-hills, which caused me more astonish- 
ment, and involved greater difficulties to account for them, thnn any 
other phenomenon connected with the eruption. From the accounts 
given me, the coast at Nanavalie, previous to the eruption, was one 

K I L A U E A. 189 

continuous lava cliff, of the hard metallic kind, like that which is still 
found on both sides of the sand-hills for several miles. There was no 
appearance whatever of sand. At present there are three large hills, 
composed of sand and gravel of a light yellow hue, with little mixture 
of lava or scoria. The last unite with the lava plain near the sea, 
which may be observed in some places to flow under them. 

Beds of sand and gravel, similar to those composing the hills, exist 
for some distance along the sides of the lava streams. From all 
accounts, the formation of these took place at the time the lava stream 
joined the ocean, which must have produced a violent sand-storm, the 
effects of which are rendered evident for a mile on either side of the 
stream, by the quantity of sand and gravel that is lodged in the pan- 
danus and other trees. 

From the top of the hill I could perceive no appearance of a shoal 
having been formed, for the water appeared quite as blue as in mid- 
ocean. This point I particularly attended to, for it had been reported 
to me that such a shoal had been formed. The sand-hills appeared to 
have encroached upon the line of the coast about one hundred feet. 

Through the sand that was near the sea-shore chrysolite was disse- 
minated in greater abundance than it was met with elsewhere, and of 
larger size. This mineral is found throughout all the lava formation, 
in greater or less quantities. To account for the presence of greater 
quantities of it at this place, it may be supposed that the melted lava, 
coming in contact with the water, has freed the chrysolite, which the 
sea has thrown on the shore. 

The width of the lava stream was found to be three-fourths of a 
mile. The portion of it nearest the sand-hills is in a very confused and 
rugged state, and there are some large accumulations in mounds, that 
have been forced up by pressure from above and beneath. It is said to 
have passed over the ancient village of Nanavalie, and left upon its site 
and cultivated grounds a deep layer of rock. The natives told us that 
they had remained till the last moment, hoping the torrent might be 
stayed or turned aside, and thus save their houses. It however swept 
on, and they had barely time to remove the few articles they possessed. 
I was somewhat surprised at the natives making so light of these 
appalling streams of fire, of which the first notice they have is a few 
shocks of earthquake, and shortly after a distant fire in the woods. 

I was particularly struck with the difference between the old and 
recent flows of lava : the old looks the more fresh of the two, and has 
the smooth dark metallic lustre before observed, without any vitreous 
crust ; it seems to have flowed over the surface when of the consis- 
tence of tar. The late flow has a decided vitreous character, with 

K I L A U E A. 

chrysolite disseminated through it; it has a dark brown hue, and a 
reddish scoriaceous appearance. 

The south sand-hill commands an extensive view over a scene of 
complete devastation, heightened in its character of desolation by the 
sulphurous gases and smoke which were still escaping from the recent 
stream of lava. The latter, except in its dark colour, resembled a river 
on whose banks large masses of ice are heaped, which had carried 
destruction in its course, and had crushed or pulverized every thing 
that obstructed its way. The very hill on which we sat was the 
effect of the power of this stream of fire. A sketch of these sand-hills 
is exhibited in the annexed wood-cut. 


The effect of the view was enhanced by the contrast of the bare 
rock of the eruption, with the verdure that appeared on either side of it. 

The stream of liquid lava seems to have borne down all opposition, 
and to have filled up every hollow that lay in the line of its course. 

The country around the stream does not appear as if it had any 
descent, but the lava stream shows its slope very distinctly. 

The natives had been planting sweet-potatoes near the foot of the 
sand-hills, but there was little prospect of their succeeding in raising a 
crop. We passed several hours here, and then proceeded on our way 
through Makuu and Wekahika to Keeau, where we arrived at sunset. 
The school-house of Keeau was appropriated to the men and natives ; 
but I preferred to occupy the tent, as I was well aware of the peculiar 
trials to be undergone in the native houses, although it was newly built. 

Here we found a delightful spring of fresh water upon the shore, and 
within the flow of the tide at high water. It enabled us to enjoy a 
bath, which we had not had the means of doing for forty days. During 
our journey, we met Lieutenant Budd on his way to the lava plain, \\-\\o 
informed me that they were all well on board the ship. 

As we had dispensed with all the baggage we could spare, we deter- 
mined to trust to obtaining provisions on the road; in consequence we 
generally had a market at our encampment, and one of the first things 


to be attended to was buying our supper. In this traffic, to which Dr. 
Judd usually attended, many curious scenes occurred, which caused 
us much amusement. At Keeau, for instance, an old woman brought 
some eggs for sale, which we were very desirous of obtaining, but she 
had determined that she must have a pair of scissors, and refused to 
take any thing else. Unfortunately for us we had no scissors to give, 
and no persuasion could prevail upon her to take any thing else for 
them, although three times their value was offered in money, and she 
was told it would buy a pair; but no ! she marched off with her eggs, 
and we went without them. 

This trait is stronger in the Hawaiians than in the other islanders 
of Polynesia ; and I heard of another remarkable instance of the same 
sort. A native woman brought to a friend of mine in Honolulu a 
large watermelon, and desired to have a needle for it ; the melon was 
worth far more, and she was told so. With the needle, more was 
offered, but refused, and possessing herself of the coveted article, she 
went away, fully satisfied that she had made an excellent bargain. 

Not unfrequently at the markets a native will bring an article for 
sale, upon which he has fixed an exorbitant price, and he will continue 
to visit it day after day, until he is quite satisfied it cannot be sold for 
the desired price, when, instead of offering it at a lower price, he will 
prefer to carry it away. 

I here learned their mode of reckoning distances is sometimes 
by lands, which I found to be equivalent to about one-fourth of a 

In some places they have taken great pains to secure a good road 
or walking path: thus, there is a part of the road from Nanavalie to 
Hilo which is built of pieces of lava, about four feet high and three 
feet wide on the top. The largest and best pieces are placed on the 
top ; but notwithstanding this, the road is exceedingly fatiguing to the 
stranger, as the lumps are so arranged that he is obliged to take a 
long and a short step alternately ; but this the natives do not seem to 
mind, and they pass over the road with great facility, even when 
heavily laden. 

The lava along this part of the coast was similar to that which has 
been called old, and in some places I observed the impression of trees 
that had fallen on it before it was cold : the marks of them are now as 
fresh as if it had happened yesterday. There is no traditionary ac- 
count of any flow of lava on this coast, which is a precipitous shore, 
about fifteen feet high, on which the sea beats with violence at all 

On the 23d of January we were up betimes, being desirous of 



reaching Hilo before noon, and started, leaving the baggage to follow 
Our route diverged somewhat from the sea-shore, and lay most of the 
way through a thick wood of pandanus. This tree is one of the most 
valuable to the natives: almost every part of it is of use, and especially 
the leaves; with these they thatch their houses, and make both fine 
and coarse mats. The women use the fruit, cut into sections and 
strung, for necklaces: they are of a bright red colour, tinged with 
orange and yellow, and at a little distance have a pretty effect upon 
their dark skins. 

The mode of using a knife, for pointing the pandanus and other 
purposes, amused the sailors very much : it is held in either hand, 
with the point towards the body, and the article to be cut is drawn 
over it. 


The growth of the pandanus is peculiar : it forms whirls, generally 
from left to right, but occasionally one is seen turning in the opposite 
direction, and it becomes not a little puzzling to determine where they 
differ, unless the two happen to be seen together. Its mode of provid- 
ing for its own support by the pendent roots, is an economy of nature 
that appears astonishing, and almost gives an idea that the tree pos- 
sesses instinct. Many are to be seen very much inclined, that are in 
the act of putting forth several of these roots on one side, in order to 
prop themselves up, while not a single one shows itself on the other ; 

K I L A U E A. 193 

ihese roots not only grow from the side which requires support, but 
seem to take that direction which will likewise furnish soil. When the 
pandanus forests are in full bloom, the whole air for miles around is 
scented with the fragrance. 

This day, for the first time, I saw a deranged native. He had 
escaped from his keepers ; and I thought he was rather harshly used 
in what I saw of the affray. There was great difficulty in securing 

Within a mile or two of the observatory, we met Mr. Dray ton, going 
out on another excursion. 

We reached the observatory after an absence of forty-two days, 
and it was delightful to feel ourselves as it were at home again, after 
so arduous and fatiguing an expedition. I had the pleasure to hear 
that every thing had arrived safely, and that all were well. On 
inquiry being made for the Kanaka that had been missing, I learned 
that a party of natives had gone to the mountain in search of him, but 
that little hope was entertained that he would be found. 

On the 24th, Lieutenant Carr, Dr. Fox, Lieutenant Case, and several 
of the other officers, were allowed permission to visit the crater. 

On the 25th, 26th, and 27th, we were employed in putting up the 
pendulum apparatus, and began on the night of the latter to observe 
coincidences. The three series obtained, to my great astonishment 
did not agree. I could not account for the discrepancies, for I exa- 
mined the whole apparatus, agate planes, knife edge, &c., and found 
them in perfect adjustment, both with plumb-line and level ; the scale 
and telescope were also found correct ; the rate of the clock was 
steady under hourly comparisons with the siderial clock, and observa- 
tions of the transits of stars. 

Although I had covered the pendulum-house with its tent, I thought 
that some of the discrepancies occurring might be owing to its want 
of uniformity of temperature. I therefore, on the 29th, had a grass- 
house built over both, which remedied any defect of temperature. I 
then continued to observe, but did not find the results more satis- 
factory ; I therefore took down the whole apparatus, put it up, read- 
justed it anew, and took another series during the night. These were 
rather more in accordance. I continued observing through the 30th 
and 31st, but with no satisfactory results. I then examined the pen- 
dulum again with the plumb-line on both sides at the same time : they 
both coincided with the marks made in London by Mr. Baily and my- 
self, in 1836. I next tried the iron pendulum, and found it to agree 
also ; reversed both pendulums on the knife-edge, but the results were 
still discrepant. 

VOL iv. R 25 

194 K I L A U E A. 

I must admit I felt perplexed and mortified, not only at the loss of 
time, but at being unable to detect the cause of the discrepancies. 1 
determined, however, to persevere, and continued to observe from the 
1st to the 10th of February, but with no better results, some corre- 
sponding, whilst others disagreed every alternate series. The deviation 
was irregular, and having kept a watch upon the apparatus, I began to 
suspect that the discrepancy was the effect of volcanic action, and that 
the ground was unstable. To ascertain whether this was the case, I 
tried a mercurial horizon on the top of the pendulum-frame, and after 
watching it for nearly an hour, I could perceive no movement or vibra- 
tion. On inquiry, I found there was a hot spring beyond low-watei 
mark, which the man who attended the tide-staff had discovered in 
wading off. This spring was about one hundred and twenty feet from 
the pendulum-house; but I at last satisfied myself that the tide, and 
more particularly the surf, had more to do with it ; and in looking 
over the series, I found that when the surf was heaviest they were 
most discordant. 

During this time I was employed in making astronomical observa- 
tions, and when they were finished, I felt myself at liberty to try other 
situations for the pendulum observations. Mr. Pitman having offered 
me his son's house at Paneo, I had every thing transported thither. 
Paneo is situated on a high bank of lava rock, covered by six or eight 
feet of decomposed lava rock and vegetable mould. On this soil, large 
bread-fruit trees, some of them two feet in diameter, were growing. 
The height of the house above the water was fifty-four feet, and it is 
removed about three hundred yards from the beach. Between Paneo 
and Hilo the Wailuku river runs, at whose mouth on the Hilo side, 
there was generally a long and regular surf rolling in ; but I did not 
suppose it possible that this surf could incommode the observations. 
After repairing one of the grass-houses, the pendulum-house and appa- 
ratus were put up, the whole being in perfect adjustment, and the series 
was begun. 

The first difficulty I now had to contend with was the stopping of 
the clock. When this was reported to me, I was almost in despair, 
for on the other side of the bay it had been proved to go well. The 
clock was again set in motion, but in a short time again stopped ; and 
the apparatus was once more to be taken down, and all the adjustments 
were again to be made, a work of three or four hours. On opening 
the clock-case, the cause of its stopping was disclosed by the ap; 
ance of a large spider, which had wound his web so tightly round 
the fork, and connected it so closely with the case, as to stop the 
pendulum. Although this was provoking, I was much relieved by 


finding that it was a cause so easily removed ; and the whole was put 
up anew. 

I now flattered myself that I should be able to go on successfully ; 
but this was soon found to be a fallacious hope. The series were 
evidently less disturbed, and the disturbance was found to be con- 
nected with the times of the greatest surf. I, however, went through 
a thorough examination of the apparatus, and discovered, with a high 
magnifying power, what was thought to be a scratch in the agate 
planes. I therefore shifted the knife-edge, causing it to rest about 
one-sixth of an inch from its former place. As like irregularities 
continued, the scratch could no longer be assigned as the cause. I 
therefore concluded finally that the roll of the surf was the sole cause 
of the discrepancies; and on the 23d of February I determined to 
make another move, to Mount Kanuha, a hill back of Hilo, which I 
named after the chief who owned the spot. At this hill I engaged 
three grass-houses, one of which he agreed to enlarge for me, about 
ten feet, which, with the rent for the time I should require them, was 
to cost ten dollars. A detachment of sailors was at once ordered, and 
the whole apparatus, house, &c., was soon on the move. Mount 
Kanuha is three quarters of a mile from the bay, and elevated above 
half tide one hundred and forty feet. Before twenty-four hours had 
expired, the whole apparatus was up and the clock in motion. After 
its rate became settled, the series with the pendulums were success- 
fully completed, no disturbance being found to exist at this last 

For these interesting results, the reader is referred to the volume on 
Physics. The difference in altitude of the two stations at which the 
pendulums were swung, was thirteen thousand three hundred feet. 

On this occasion I was assisted by Mr. Eld, who entered most fully 
into my anxieties and the excitement incident to them, and who joined 
me in the perseverance and exertions necessary to overcome all the 
obstacles we had to contend with. On the 2d of March, these duties 
were completed, and the instruments embarked. 

Our time would have passed quite agreeably here had it not been 
for the vexatious delays that have been spoken of. The house I occu- 
pied at Paneo was on a charming spot, susceptible of much improve- 
ment ; and altogether one of the most desirable situations for a residence 
on the islands. During the period of my stay, it offered a delightful re- 
treat, and enabled me to enjoy it as well as the fine weather: the latter 
I may have estimated more highly than it deserves; for the inhabi- 
tants of the village were by no means inclined to extol their climate, 
and considered the season as quite remarkable both for the absence of 


K I L A U E A. 

rain as well as the constant sunshine that prevailed ; and from all the 
statements I received, I should, notwithstanding my own experience 
advise all those who visit this port to be prepared for the interruptions 
a few hours of rain each day may occasion ; with this exception, it 
may be strongly recommended as a convenient and safe resort for 

Having thus closed the narrative of the ascent of Mauna Loa, my 
visits to Kilauea, and of the difficulties that attended not only the 
excursion to the mountains, but the experiments performed near the 
water's edge, it is time to revert to the operations of the parties which 
were not under my own immediate command. These will form the 
subject of the succeeding chapter. 








DURING the time of our residence on Mauna Loa, Dr. Pickering and 
Mr. Brackenrklge volunteered to make the ascent of Mauna Kea. 
They were furnished with guides, among them Sandwich Jack, our 
bullock-driver, whose true name I believe was Dawson, though he went 
by the sobriquet of Billy Lilly. They set out on the 8t,h of January, 
attended by natives from Hilo, belonging to Kanuha, having agreed to 
pay each of them fifty cents a day. Their first stage was to the saw- 
mill erected on the Wailuku, distant about seven miles from Hilo, and 
three miles within the verge of the forest : here they stopped for the 
night with a man by the name of Simons, who is the occupant of the 
mill, which belongs to a Mr. Castle. The mill, as I understand, had 
proved but a bad speculation : it is now out of repair, and there is not. 
sufficient demand for boards to make it at all profitable. 

In the evening a native from Hilo joined them, and communicated 
the information that, the chief Kanuha, who was entitled to one-fourth 
of the pay of the natives, was much displeased with them for having 
agreed to serve for fifty cents a day, when they should have asked 
twelve dollars each for the trip. In consequence of this, they would 
not proceed the next day ; and Dr. Pickering determined on returning 
to Hilo to have the affair settled. Kanuha disclaimed any participa- 
tion in the refusal, and sent a messenger back to order the men to 

On the 10th of January they resumed their journey, and followed 
the "Long Road" for about two miles, which is the whole distance to 
which it extends; the removal of the chief who was engaged on it had 
put a stop to its further progress. They were now fairly in the forest, 


200 HAWAII. 

which was thought by our gentlemen to be a fine one ; it consisted 
altogether of two kinds of trees, the ohea (Callistemon), and koa 
(Acacia) ; they also met with several species of the tree-fern, which 
seem to vie with each other in beauty. Many of these were of genera 
and species that had not before been met with, one of which afforded the 
silky down before spoken of, and another, the edible fern, a drawing 
of which will be seen at the end of this chapter. On reaching the bed 
of the stream, which is one of the routes through the wood, the guides 
led them upon it. As they proceeded, they overtook one of the boys 
who had preceded them, endeavouring to catch a large bird. He 
had armed with bird-lime one of the pendent branches of a small ohea 
tree that overhung the stream and was in full flower. As they were 
passing, the bird was seen hovering about, while the boy was slily 
watching its movements. When they had passed it a short distance 
they heard the scream of the captured bird, but by some mishap it 
afterwards escaped. 

Their encampment was under an ohea tree, where the natives built 
a hut for them with boughs and the fronds of ferns. From the preva- 
lence of heavy rain they found all the wood wet, and could not suc- 
ceed in making a fire: they consequently passed a miserable night ; for 
in almost any climate, when encamped in the open air at night, a fire 
seems to be necessary for comfort, particularly when the weather is wet. 

Conglomerates were the most frequent rock in the bed of the stream. 
This rock had not been met with on the trip to Mauna I.oa ; and on 
diverging from the stream, the compact rock of that mountain seemed 
to prevail. 

Their guide, Dawson, during the morning showed much alarm at 
their starting some young cattle, lest the old cows should be near, 
who he thought might be troublesome: the cattle, however, were 
discovered afterwards to be tame. At the forks of the stream they 
took the left branch, and after a walk of two miles, came to some huts 
occupied by natives who had been bullock-hunting. In this illegal 
practice they seem to have been extensively engaged, judging from the 
quantities of jerked meat they had on hand. 

The cattle have been tabooed for five years, from the year 1840, in 
consequence of the slaughter that had been made among them. Up- 
wards of five thousand hides, I was told, had been procured in a single 
year, and when this became known to the government, it interdicted 
the hunting of the animal. I heard no estimate of the number of the 
wild cattle, but they are believed to be very considerable, and all from 
the stock left by Vancouver in 1795. 

From these natives they procured some jerked beef, and were told 

HAWAII. 201 

that ice had formed there the night before. The effects of frost on the 
foliage was evident, and yet the elevation did not exceed five thousand 

They encamped at night in an open space in the woods, near some 
shallow pools called the Duck-Ponds, from the quantity of these birds 
frequenting them. The ground was chiefly covered with tufts of a 
small Carex. The trees now began to appear gnarled and covered 
with moss, resembling oaks in habit. The ground had become much 
drier, and the brushwood was gradually disappearing. 

On the 12th, they started at sunrise, and by eleven o'clock found 
they had cleared the forest. Their altitude was about six thousand 
feet. The woods had become for some time previously much scat- 
tered. They passed also a distinct lava stream, of no great size. 
The ground was frozen, and the pools of water were covered with a 
thin ice. 

This upper part of the forest afforded a greater variety of trees, 
though of smaller dimensions : here they met with the false sandal- 
wood (Myoporum) ; the koa was, however, still the principal tree. 

To the forest succeed the plains ; but why this region should be so 
termed, our gentlemen were at a loss to conceive, for there is an 
ascent, although gradual, towards the base of the higher peaks ; and 
there are, besides, numerous conical hills, varying in height from two 
to eight hundred feet: even between these the surface is undulating, 
and cut up by ravines. 

This district is famous, according to report, for the number of wild 
cattle found on it, and from that circumstance would be supposed to 
produce fine pasturage ; but this is far from being the case, for there 
is nothing but a few scattered tufts of grass, and a species of ranun- 
culus, which is of so acrid a nature that the cattle will not eat it. 
The prevailing feature of the country is aridity, and concealed rocks 
cover a great part of it. Shrubs seem to be almost absent, but the 
scattered mamanee trees are every where conspicuous. 

It was now evident that their guide had taken them a wrong 
route, having pursued that leading across the island ; they therefore 
changed their course, and took a direction to the northwest, crossing 
the country for an eminence, where Mr. Castle, (the proprietor of the 
mill,) formerly had a station. When they reached it, they enjoyed a 
fine view over the distant forest, with the bay of Hilo and the sea 
beyond: the day being clear, the whole extent was distinctly visible; 
even a small vessel, which had sailed for Oahu, was seen going out of 
the bay. 

They chose their encampment just above this eminence, under a 
VOL. iv. 20 

202 HAWAII. 

projecting ledge of lava : close by there were several pools of water 
Such pools form in the compact lava ; and where this rock occurs, 
water is to be met with at intervals, while in the porous lava none is 
to be found. 

On the 13th, they set out at an early hour, and passed a belt where 
the vegetation became very rich, and the variety great, particularly 
on the sheltered banks of the ravines. Among the plants were several 
Composites, two or three with decussate leaves, Pelargonium Dou- 
glasii, five or six species of ferns, several Rubiacese, grasses, and other 
small plants. 

About three miles beyond this, they reached a cave, where they 
intended to leave the natives and baggage. It was difficult to induce 
the former to come up even thus far, on account of the cold; but being 
here in the vicinity of wood, they were enabled to have a fire to keep 
themselves warm : water was also at hand. This cave was a conve- 
nient rendezvous, and sufficiently near the top to allow them time to 
reach it and return in a day. Some of the natives had gone down to 
a larger cave, three quarters of a mile below. 

A few wild cattle were to be seen in the distance; but, according to 
the report of Dawson, their guide, they ought to have heard from this 
position cattle lowing in every direction. 

On the 14th, one of their guides was sent off after a bullock ; 
Kanuha, the chief, having granted permission to the party to shoot 

Dr. Pickering, Mr. Brackenridge, and Billy Lilly, set out for the 
summit. When about three miles above their rendezvous, and having 
the high hill of red scoria to the south, they entered upon a plain, of 
many miles in extent. On reaching this, the vegetation of temperate 
climates almost at once disappeared, and an Arctic flora succeeded. 
This plain is made desolate by stones, gravel, sand, scoria, and 
boulders: a few scanty blades of two sorts of grasses (Aira and 
Panicum), and one or two stone-mosses, were all the verdure, if such 
it may be called, that was seen. The whole plain resembled the dry 
bed of some great river over which the water had passed for ages. 
There was no appearance of lava streams or clinkers, as on Mauna 
Loa. In the distance rose six peaks, around whose bases were rough 
blocks of lava, while towards their tops scoria of a red colour, with 
gravel, prevailed. 

On their way, they passed through a gap to the southeast of the 
three terminal hills, where stood the stone pen, said to mark the place 
where the Rev. Mr. Bingham was once lost. The terminal peaks were 
found steep and very fatiguing to ascend ; and when they reached the 

HAWAII. 203 

summit, they took shelter under a pile of stones the same that Doug- 
lass speaks of. They were unfortunate in the weather, as a cold, 
cutting, and strong wind blew from the southwest, sweeping over these 
peaks with great force. The water in the bags froze in a few minutes 
in the bright sunshine. Their man Dawson, alias Billy Lilly, soon 
became weary and exhausted : he was so stiff, that it was with diffi- 
culty they could get him to move down to the base of the mountain. 
The lee side of the mountain, was a sheet of ice for several hundred 
feet down the peaks ; the weather side on the contrary, was covered 
with minute icicles pointing to the wind, which, on being walked over, 
were detached in numbers. 

In the early part of the day, Mauna Loa was in sight ; but when 
they reached the summit, the atmosphere became hazy, and conse- 
quently their view of the country around was very indistinct. The 
terminal crater of Mauna Loa, however, was still perceptible. 

The highest peak of Mauna Kea is the southernmost; but our 
gentlemen did not visit it, proceeding to the western side of the moun- 
tain, until they obtained a view of the slope to the northwest and north. 
The lake spoken of by Mr. Goodrich, which lies in the direction of the 
highest peak, was not visited. 

Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea differ essentially, both in form and 
apparent composition. Mauna Loa, as has been seen, is one mass of 
lava streams for the distance of four or five thousand feet from its 
summit; while Mauna Kea is found to consist almost entirely of 
scoria without any craters, unless the conical hills spoken of can be 
so considered; which is probable, for they are represented as cup- 
shaped on top. Vegetation on the one ceases at about seven thousand 
feet; while on the other it is continued to twelve thousand, and a few 
scattered plants may even be found within a few hundred feet of the 
top of Mauna Kea. The plants also differ: the mamanee occupies a 
belt eleven thousand feet high, while none of this plant is to be found 
on Mauna Loa. 

On their return, they determined to proceed to the lower cave, 
where the natives had taken refuge. 

On the 15th, they concluded to descend, after making a tour on 
this same level, where they found the ground as barren as on the route 
by which they had ascended. Small herds of cattle were seen, but at 
a great distance apart: these have now become shy, from having been 
hunted by Spaniards with horses from California, which were imported 
for the express purpose of carrying on systematically the business of 
killing the cattle for their hides. These hunters would soon have 
exterminated them. 



The golden plover is very abundant on the plain, as every where 
else ; but is said to quit the islands in the breeding season. No geese 
were seen on this mountain ; but many small birds appeared as high 
up as the mamanee trees. They also saw hawks, which, by a per- 
version of language, are called " crows." 

They then went towards " Ned's House," (now deserted,) and took 
the path leading in a southeast direction, along the margin of the 
woods. This was the route that Douglass followed, when he left 
Ned's House, on the morning of his death. In about three quarters 
of an hour, they arrived at the pits ; in one of which he was found 
dead. They are situated in an open clearing, in the centre of which 
is a low marshy spot, sometimes containing water, which the cattle 
come in search of. The annexed diagram will give an idea of the 
locality. These pits are covered with raspberry and other fragile 
bushes; which are covered again with soil, and the hoofs of cattle 
imprinted on them, to deceive. 


1. Path leading 1 from Ned's House. 2. Place where Mr. Douglass left his bundle and dog. 
Track towards the pit in which he was found with the bull, gored to death. 3. The pool 
of water. 4. The three pits. 5. The fence which surrounds the pool and compels the cattle 
to pass over the pits. 

The locality of these pits is in a dell, with banks sloping on both 
sides: the one to the northwest is about twenty feet high, while that 
to the southeast is about thirty feet. On each side, both above and 
below, thickets close the dell. 

These pits are about seven or eight feet long, and four feet wide, 
and are walled up : they are placed broadside to the water. 

There were many circumstances attendant upon the death of 
Douglass, leading to the suspicion that he had been murdered by Ned, 
at whose house he had breakfasted. The general character of Ned 
gave rise to a; feeling that such was the fact, he having been a run- 
away convict from New South Wales. It seems somewhat singular 
that Mr. Douglass should have laid down his bundle and returned after 
passing the pits ; and it is remarkable too that his servant, who had 
parted from him the same morning, should also have perished. 

HAWAII. 205 

Ned's conduct afterwards was not a little suspicious, for he men- 
tioned he had warned Mr. Douglass against the dangers of these pits, 
and had accompanied him to within a short distance of them. So 
strong were the suspicions against him, that a post-mortem examination 
took place by Drs. Judd and Rooke ; but nothing could be elicited, for 
all the wounds were such as Mr. Douglass might have received from 
the animal. Few deaths could be more awful than that which he is 
supposed to have suffered. 

Bullock-hunting seems to partake somewhat of the dangers of the 
chase of wild beasts, and has much of its attraction. Many stories 
are related of natives having been tossed, gored, and carried on the 
animal's horns for hours, and from these reports the natives are easily 
alarmed with the appearance even of a half-tamed animal, as we had 
abundant reason to observe on our way up Mauna Loa. 

A story was related of a native, who, having prepared a pit, suc- 
ceeded in entrapping a large bull, but became so excited at his success, 
that he slipped and fell in himself; however, being armed with a 
knife, he succeeded in killing the animal : when discovered both were 

Mr. Castle had three ribs broken, and Ragsdale, our old guide, a leg 
fractured, while hunting; and many other rencontres, partaking too 
much of the marvellous to be repeated here, were told me. 

They encamped for the night in an old bark hut, in the line of 
woods. The 16th was rainy, but they continued their way down the 
mountain in a north-northeast direction, passing through the woods. 
The path was wretched, and full of mud and mire. The last part of 
the way the trees became more numerous, and consisted, besides the 
ohea and koa, of the Ilex, Aralia, Myoporum (false sandal wood), 
several Composita?, a Silene, and four or five species of Lobelias, with 
handsome flowers, mostly blue. Lower down, near a deserted hut, 
they unexpectedly found a mamanee tree, which they were told had 
been planted for the purpose of enticing the birds. 

From scrambling over roots and through mire, they were much 
fatigued before they reached Puahai. This village contains a few 
straggling houses on the table-land : it is distant about two miles from 
the sea and twenty-five miles to the northwest of Hilo. The natives 
here appeared to be much more primitive than they were in other 
places, and had had but little intercourse with strangers. It was with 
some difficulty that provisions could be procured: a dollar was de- 
manded for a turkey, and four needles for a chicken. No more than 
three of the latter could be found in the village. Their guide met 
with considerable delay in getting the necessary quantity to supply the 

206 H A VV A 1 1. 

party. At Puahai they were permitted to occupy the school-house, 
and remained over Sunday. 

The coast to the north of Hilo is somewhat peculiar : it is a steep 
bluff, rising about two hundred feet; this is cut into small breaks, 
called here "gulches," within which the villages are generally situ- 
ated, and the natives grow bananas and taro. In some places they 
cultivate small patches of sugar-cane, which succeed well. 

These gulches are ravines, from eight hundred to one thousand feet 
deep, which have apparently been worn by water-courses : they 
extend back to the woods, and have made the country impassable for 
either vehicles or riders on horseback, for no sooner is one passed 
ihan another occurs. There is no landing for boats, for all along the 
shore the surf beats on the rocks with violence. 

Mr. Castle's residence was reached the next day : it is about seven 
miles from Hilo. He has been turning his attention to the cultivation 
of coffee, and has now a plantation of several thousand trees in and 
among the coast-craters, which is in a fine condition. 

Mr. Castle is a carpenter, and has erected and owns some of the 
mills on the island. 

They walked the next day to Hilo. On approaching it they saw 
many bread-fruit trees, with the fruit lying under them rotting : for the 
natives never think of eating it so long as they can get taro, or the 
sweet-potato ; and, seemingly, it has lost its value in their eyes. 

On my return to Hilo, finding the survey of the bay had not been 
begun, we commenced it immediately. Lieutenant Alden, whilst 
putting up a signal on the north point was upset in the surf, and 
narrowly escaped being drowned. He was saved by the Kanakas, 
who were part of the boat's crew. The surf, as I have before re- 
marked, is too heavy to allow a boat to land on this shore. 

An accident also occurred to the launch, while watering, during our 
stay. Mr. Vanderford, who had charge of her, was passing out of the 
Wailuku river, off the point of which the boat entered the breakers, 
and a heavy roller capsized her : being heavily laden with water, she 
sunk, and drifted out, leaving those who were in her in danger of 
drowning. Mr. Vanderford could not swim, but a native came at 
once to his assistance, who, however, would do nothing until he was 
promised two dollars, which of course a drowning man was not 
long in doing, when he acted promptly and rescued the officer from 

In order to give the native a lesson as to his conduct in demanding 
money in such a situation, lie was told that he would have received 
twice as much if he had not made the demand. It is due, however, to 

HAWAII. 207 

this fellow to say, that in all probability he never imagined there was 
any danger of loss of life ; for if these people are at home any where, it 
is certainly in the surf, enjoying as a pleasure what we from our want 
of knowledge and confidence in the art of swimming, consider dan- 

Some account will now be given of the proceedings of the officers 
left in the Vincennes, and of the festivities which they exchanged with 
the chief Kanuha and the missionaries. 

Lieutenant Carr, who had charge of the ship, was also, with the 
officers under him, entrusted with the duties of the observatory, in- 
cluding the meteorological and tidal observations. Acting Master 
Totten and Passed Midshipman May were engaged on the charts. 

Among the festivities was one given by the chief Kanuha to the 
officers. Kanuha lives in a large native house, situated on the south 
side of the bay, in a pretty location near the beach, and surrounded 
by large trees, which not only add to its beauty, but afford the shade 
so important in this climate. 

The chief is, like all those of noble blood of these islands, of large 
dimensions, and might be called a fine-looking man. He is thought to 
regard his own interest before that of others, and is desirous of making 
money when and how he can. His wife is equally remarkable among 
her sex in size. He was dressed in a blue roundabout and white pan- 
taloons, hat, and shoes; his wife and females about the house were 
chiefly dressed in calico gowns, such as have been before described. 
Lieutenant Case, Messrs. Waldron and Drayton, and two or three 
midshipmen, went to the feast or dinner. The hour of dinner was one 
o'clock. They were received with much dignity in an apartment 
which occupied the whole house, and was decorated with green 
wreaths, not unlike our churches at Christmas. This room contained 
all the goods and chattels of the proprietor, consisting of two bed- 
steads, good beds and bedding, tapa screens, nests of beautiful camphor 
trunks, fine mats, common chairs, with several large chests, said to 
contain much riches. The visitors were presented by Kanuha to his 
wife, her sister, and his five daughters : the former were robed in 
neatly-made black silk dresses, with high-topped combs in their heads. 
Kanuha's youngest daughter, however, seemed to make the most im- 
pression. She and her sisters were dressed in painted-muslin dresses, 
white stockings, and shoes; their heads were tastefully ornamented 
with the valuable feather-wreath, before spoken of, and a garland or 
wreath of a carmine-coloured flower, natural to the island ; in their 
hair behind were enormous high-topped shell-combs ; a red silk sash, 
and a sweet-scented evergreen garland thrown over their shoulders, 

208 HAWAII. 

hanging nearly to the ground, completed their costume. During the 
presentation, the females took off their evergreen scarfs and wreaths, 
and placed them upon our gentlemen, quickly getting others for them- 

The attendants were in great numbers ; each of them had one of 
these wreaths hanging from one shoulder to the opposite hip. 

The table was spread with a white cloth, and just enough plates to 
accommodate the guests. Our gentlemen, however, insisted that the 
host and hostess, with their daughters, should sit down with them ; and 
knives and forks being brought, they all joined the feast. The dinner 
consisted of pig, pork, roast turkey, and luaud fowls, sweet-potatoes, 
taro, &c. ; the meats were divided into eight courses, and most of 
them were deliciously cooked ; for dessert, they had watermelons and 
bananas. The entertainment went off well. At three o'clock part of 
the officers returned on board, while the rest went with the young 
women, by invitation, to bathe. 

A few days afterwards this compliment was reciprocated, Kanuha 
and his household dining on board. They were highly delighted with 
the attentions and ceremonies, which were all quite new to them, as 
neither the missionaries nor residents ever receive natives at their 
table, not even the king. Their behaviour was quite decorous, and 
they seemed to enjoy every thing that was set before them, particu- 
larly the wine. 

Pea and his family were also guests. Pea is the king's agent, and 
has charge of the fish-ponds, although he is not chief of the district: he 
speaks some English, and is under the patronage of the missionaries ; 
he lives on the Waiakea side, in a large grass-house, near the fish- 
ponds. The latter cover many acres, and have a great many fine 
mullet in them, very few of which are caught, as they are reserved for 
the king or his representative Pea, and his family. From this cause, 
the fish have multiplied to a great number, and are in very fine order 
for the table. 

Kanuha is the representative of Governor Adams, who is the ruler 
of the five districts of Hawaii, of which Hilo is one. Adams had been 
in Hilo shortly before our arrival, but was not able to remain, and is so 
enormously unwieldy, that it is with difficulty he can move about. 
Kanuha collects all the taxes, acts as magistrate, and from all accounts 
is a very energetic one. 

I have before spoken of the fruitfulness of this side of the island of 
Hawaii : the sugar-cane grows here in abundance, and of a large size; 
coffee succeeds well, as do indigo and the tacca, from which they 
make a quantity of arrow-root. 

HAWAII. 209 

For the manufacture of sugar, Governor Adams owns a small mill, 
in charge of two or three Chinamen ; but it is in a wretched condition. 
It is worked by a small stream of water led from the Wailuku river. 
The quantity of sugar made in the year 1840 was about thirty tons; 
but with a well-adapted mill, and under good management, a much 
larger quantity might be made, for much of the cane is now suffered to 
rot from want of facilities to grind it. The natives now understand its 
culture well, and each has a small patch. If a demand was created 
for sugar, the cultivation might be greatly extended. The cane comes 
to perfection in twelve months. There is certainly a large field open 
here for enterprising individuals, as much of the land now lying waste 
in the neighbourhood is admirably adapted to this cultivation, and 
might be obtained on lease from the government for a small price. 

Mr. Castle has a mill, also, about seven miles north of Hilo, which 
he uses, I was told, to great profit, although it is but a small concern. 

The only extensive plantation of coffee that I heard of was that of 
Mr. Castle, which, however, is not yet old enough to produce crops. 
Some isolated trees in gardens at Hilo have yielded eight or nine 
pounds of coffee each ; and the calculation is, that the average yield of 
each tree will be equal to that amount. 

Mr. Goodrich, the missionary who preceded Mr. Coan, was very 
desirous of introducing the culture of sugar-cane and coffee, and became 
very active in promoting it. With the assistance of the natives he 
planted a large number of coffee trees, and was bent upon instructing 
them in the mode of cultivating both. He also erected a small sugar- 
mill. I regretted much to hear that his successor viewed all these 
improvements in a far different light, and, not content to allow the trees 
to fall into neglect, he actually took the trouble to root them up, in 
order to arrest the progress of the improvement of the natives in their 

I walked round the garden with the missionary, and saw all the 
vines, fruit, and ornamental trees, to which his predecessor had paid so 
much attention, and in which he had taken such pride, going to waste. 
One would have thought that the spirit of his calling would have dic- 
tated a more worthy and enlightened course. I never was more satisfied 
with the folly of such a step, than when the question was asked me by 
an intelligent native, " Why the missionaries no like grow sugar-cane 
and coffee ?" I could not but believe that the intelligent lady of the 
establishment, with her numerous scholars, would have been well 
employed in superintending the garden, and that it would have proved 
a source of recreation as well as of profitable industry to all concerned. 

The districts of Hilo and Puna are embraced under the same pastor, 

VOL. IV. S2 27 

210 HAWAII. 

the Rev. Mr. Coan. It is the largest charge in the group, and accord- 
ing to the last census, contains twelve thousand inhabitants. In 1840, 
seven thousand of these were reported as communicants, forming 
twenty separate congregations, all of which are under the charge of 
native catechists, and are visited quarterly by the missionary for inspec- 
tion, instruction, discipline, and the Lord's Supper. All the communi- 
cants meet yearly at Hilo. 

Being much engaged with the natives, I had a fair opportunity of 
observing their improvement in religious knowledge ; and I regret to 
say, that it is not such as I anticipated from the accounts that were 
given me, or equal to what it ought to be from the exertions of their 
pastor ; for, while I cannot but condemn the course he has pursued in 
rooting up the coffee plantations, and overturning the good works of his 
predecessor, I must do him the justice to say, he is untiring in his 
clerical duties, and his field is one of constant labour, both of mind and 

In giving an account of the wants of his parishioners, he includes 
the following, viz.: lawyers, doctors, teachers, artists, agriculturists, 
manufacturers, preachers, and, above all, money. 

The schools were in the first place composed of adults and children, 
and numbered five thousand scholars ; but now they are confined to 
children, between two and three thousand of whom attend school, 
being one-sixth of the population. 

With regard to the population of this district, I have no positive 
proof of its decrease. Children are, indeed, said to be few, but the 
numbers that are reported as attending the schools show that there is 
as large a proportion of them as in other countries. 

There is at Hilo a boarding-school for boys, under the care of Mr. 
and Mrs. Lyman, which was established in 1836. This school is sus- 
tained by annual grants of the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions and by lay donations. 

The number of scholars at the time of our visit was fifty-three, fifteen 
of whom had just been received, and seventeen had been lately sent 
to the high-school at Lahainaluna. Twelve more were preparing to 
join that school. The annual expense of each scholar is from sixteen 
to eighteen dollars : the boys raise about one-fourth of the food they 
consume. They cultivate a little sugar-cane, which was estimated to 
be worth fifty dollars the last year. The boys eat at a common table : 
the dormitory is eighty feet long, by twenty-eight feet wide, and im- 
mediately over the school-room; each bed-place is partitioned off into 
a small room, with mats, six feet by four. The whole is extremely 
neat and clean. 

HAWAII. 211 

The boys in this school appear more cheerful than any others I 
have seen in this group; all of them look remarkably healthy, and, 
indeed, robust for these islands. They are fed upon poe, one of the 
most nutritious articles of food, and thrive proportionately ; they 
were, in fact, the largest boys of their respective ages that I saw on 
the islands. 

Through the kindness of Mr. Lyman, I was present at an examina- 
tion of the scholars : sacred geography and arithmetic were the two 
branches most dwelt upon ; the exercises in mental arithmetic would 
have done credit to our own country, for they were quite as proficient 
in them as could possibly have been expected. I was much pleased 
with the arrangements of the dormitory, eating-rooms, hospital, and 
with the appearance of the " farm," or few acres they had under culti- 
vation. It was very evident that system and good order prevailed 
throughout. The dormitory, particularly, appeared to me well calcu- 
lated to promote health, and give notions of comfort foreign to the 
ideas of a native. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lyman seem quite competent to the charge, particu- 
larly the latter ; for one cannot but perceive the hand of the mistress 
pervading throughout. This and Mrs. Coan's school for girls, are 
decidedly the best-conducted establishments, I saw in the Pacific. I 
cannot pass by the latter without adding a few words. 

Mrs. Coan had been kind enough to ask me to appoint an hour to 
attend the examination of her pupils, or to come when I could. My 
employments placed it out of my power to select a time, and I took 
advantage of her general invitation to drop in when I was quite un- 
expected. I was very kindly received, and found her with all her 
scholars seated around, some hard at work with the needle, and some 
reading. My entrance occasioned little or no disturbance, either to 
the lady or her scholars ; and the regular routine of the school went 
on. It gave me great pleasure to see what the industry, talent, and 
zeal of my countrywoman had accomplished ; for by her untiring 
assiduity this school had been established, and is kept up. The whole 
care devolves upon her of maintaining, clothing, and educating these 
children ; and the only aid she receives is through the donations of 
parents and strangers, and what little the girls can earn by sewing for 
the storekeeper. 

The accommodations for this school are far inferior to those for the 
boys ; and I must say, I felt some astonishment that the Board of 
Managers had not given it a helping hand. When it is stated that 
Mrs. Coan has young children of her own, without servants to whom 
she can trust them, it will be seen that the task of taking under her 

212 HAWAII. 

charge twenty-three native girls for education, clothing, and food, is 
one of no ordinary labour. She is one of the most useful of the mis- 
sionaries ; and were it not for the less liberal notions of her husband, 
would be much more so. I could not but perceive that his interference 
in the matter of this school is detrimental to the progress of the scholars 
in civilization : when this is the case, it cannot advance their progress 
in true religion. 

The number of district schools in Hilo and Puna, is said to amount 
to one hundred ; but of these I saw only one, which was under Mr. 
Wilcox, a teacher attached to the mission. This was kept in the old 
church. The numbers in attendance varied from sixty to eighty, con- 
sisting of all ages between five and fifteen. 

I was in the habit of passing this building almost daily, during 
the latter part of my stay, and frequently was much amused at the 
behaviour of the scholars and their teacher. These little boys are 
for the most part nearly naked; but what they wanted in clothes 
they made up in curiosity, and on my passing on Kanuha's white 
horse, out they would come without the consent of their teacher. On 
one occasion, I was not a little amused at his attempts to restrain 
them, through which a kind of hurry-skurry ensued, as though so 
many rats were escaping from a cage ; all the teacher could do, 
escape they would ; and w ? hen he ran to one door to close it, they 
would nimbly seek the other, until none were left but such as he had 
tumbled over. I could not help laughing at this scene. This will 
give some idea of the difficulties to be sometimes encountered here in 
teaching, although I would not have the reader suppose that such is 
the case always. 

During our stay at Hilo, I visited the Rainbow Fall : it is about 
a mile and a half from Hilo, and is well worthy of a visit. The 
Wailuku river, which I have mentioned as dividing the village of 
Paneo from that of Hilo, here descends about one hundred and 
twenty feet into a circular basin, formed apparently by the caving 
in of the lava, with which the whole country is covered : the strata 
of sand and clay has in places become undermined, and has left 
the ledge over which the fall shoots, projecting beyond the walls 
of the basin. This has the effect to bring the water in broad relief, 
and the height is sufficient to dissipate it into foarn before it reaches 
the quiet and secluded nook below: this causes a fluctuation in 
the quantity of spray that is constantly arising, which being agitate 1 
by the breeze, throws it about in various directions, and with a 
bright sun, causes innumerable rainbows to be seen, from those of 
great brightness to the most delicate tints. The walls showing the 



basaltic formation add much to this effect, and might almost lead 
one to fancy the basin had been built by fairy hands, to enchant the 


The missionaries often make visits to this beautiful spot in the 
evening, and one of the first places of interest that they point out to a 
stranger are these falls. The basin into which they fall is also a 
favourite resort of the natives for bathing. 

The tacca, from which the arrow-root is made, is not cultivated ; 
although it grows wild all over the island. It is gathered and pre- 
pared by the natives ; but they are not sufficiently careful when they 
dig up the large roots, to replace the smaller tubers in the ground. 
From this neglect, the plant is on the decrease. I was told that 
attempts were making to cultivate it: it grows well in the upland 
regions, in the poor soil, covered with fragments of lava, which is un- 
suited for any other culture. 

Their mode of preparing the tacca for use is simply by first washing, 

214 HAWAII. 

then scraping and straining it through fine leaves. After standing 
awhile, the fecula settles, when the water is poured off. The fecula 
is then made into small cakes with the hand, by which operation it is 
freed from the remaining water ; and it is then placed in the sun to 
dry. The manufacture of this article is generally limited to the 
quantity necessary for furnishing each of the females with a calico 
frock. This of course does not amount to any very great quantity, 
in a commercial point of view ; but will yet be considered large, when 
the manner in which it is gathered is considered. I was informed, 
that the quantity shipped to Oahu yearly, was two hundred thousand 
pounds ; and that the price paid for it was two or three cents a pound, 
in goods. At Honolulu, it is sold at a profit of one hundred per cent, 
to the shipper. 

Indigo might be made a profitable culture; for it grows wild in 
many parts of the island, and in great luxuriance. It is naturalized at 
Hilo, where I learned that some experiments had been made, which 
leave little doubt that if it were cultivated, it would be found to be 
equally valuable with that of the West Indies. 

Sanda'lwood, it is well known, was the first article that brought this 
people into notice, gave importance to the islands, and tempted 
foreigners to visit them. The chiefs, finding they had a store of 
treasure, believed it to be inexhaustible; and were tempted, by their 
own cupidity and that of their visitors, to cut it without stint. The 
course of this trade led to all sorts of tyranny and oppression by the 
chiefs towards their dependants. The trees have been for some years 
tabooed ; but this plan was adopted too late to preserve any of large 
size. Those which were not cut down for sale, it is said were de- 
stroyed by the natives, to prevent impositions being practised upon 
them. Not unfrequently, the chiefs would despatch their dependants 
to the mountains, with nothing to eat but what they could gather from 
the forest of ferns, the core of whose trunk supplied them with a 
scanty and precarious subsistence. These hardships were enough to 
cause whole tracts to become waste. It will be a long time before the 
remainder of these trees are large enough to become an article of 

Mr. Brackenridge on his return from the mountain passed from the 
volcano to the sea-board at Papapala. He found the whole country 
to the southwest of the crater a flat barren waste of smooth lava, 
mixed with fields of drifted scoria, and with bundles of capillary glas-, 
or Pole's hair, hanging to the few stunted tufts of Silene and Compo- 
sita3. This character continues to within six miles of the sea, when 
the lava becomes more rough, and bushes of Metrosideros and Sophora 

HAWAII. 215 

(mamanee) succeed, and extend to the edge of a precipice, whose 
height was estimated at six hundred feet. This precipice is faced 
with loose blocks of lava, thickly overgrown with bushes and trees. 
Among these was an amaranthaceous shrub of great beauty. From 
the base of this precipice to the sea-cliff, is a flat plain of smooth 
glassy lava, with some rents and crevices. In these grew the Agati 
grandiflora, which here assumed a prostrate habit, Daphnes, and some 
rubiaceous shrubs, and several grasses. Against the cliff, which is 
perpendicular, the sea breaks with great violence. 

Mr. Brackenridge succeeded in procuring a few shells, among 
which were some Patellas, a Nerita, a Trochus, and Chiton. He 
estimated the distance from the volcano to the sea at fourteen miles, 
in a south-southwest direction. 

He left the sea after two o'clock, and did not reach the volcano 
until eight or nine in the evening, having been obliged to feel his way 
back with a pole, to avoid the rents. This part of the island is unin- 
habitable, in consequence of its being devoid of water as well as soil, 
and not a single native was seen during the whole day. A few wild- 
cats and one goat were all the animals that were seen. 

On the morning of the 23d, Messrs. Brinsmade, Drayton, Bracken- 
ridge, and Midshipman Elliott, took their leave of the Recruiting 
Station, with an allowance of two biscuits. After a very fatiguing 
walk, they reached the volcano at dark. Midshipman Elliott the next 
morning departed for Hilo, with my despatches for the ship. 

On Christmas-day, the ingenuity of the consul procured a turkey for 
the party, which was trussed and cooked in a steam-vent by one of 
the natives. 

Having procured guides and natives to carry the provisions which 
they had obtained from those going to the mountain, they concluded 
to leave the volcano on the 28th, for the lava plain. They first struck 
it the same evening, but not having time to halt, they passed to Panau, 
a distance of nine miles, and on their way found several very interest- 
ing mosses and ferns. 

After passing the night at Panau, on the morning of the 31st, they 
set oft' for the first outbreak of May 30th, 1840. 

. The first flow of lava which they saw was that to the eastward of 
Moku-opuhi : it consisted of a bed of smooth lava in the centre, with 
many cracks, and here and there sulphur strewed around, from which 
the fumes were issuing in great quantities. Pieces of pumice as large 
as a man's head were not uncommon, and of the colour of ashes. 
These extended about three miles in length, by one-third of a mile in 
width. This stream of lava was fifteen feet above the general level, 

218 HAWAII. 

and appeared to have been vomited forth through a chain of vents in 
a highly heated state, spreading destruction around, and leaving not a 
vestige of the forest remaining, although it covered a space of about 
two miles square. Scoria which had been pressed or had run off to 
the edges, had overthrown all the bushes and trees with which it had 
come in contact; these remained unconsumed, proving conclusively 
that the scoria had been much less heated, or had cooled so rapidly as 
not to have injured the vegetation. 

The direction of the course of this stream was east-northeast, through 
a dense forest. Owing to the great roughness of the field, they were 
not able to walk upon it: its margin was equally impassable, owing to 
the entangled state of the bushes and trees, which had been pressed 
together by the lava. Taking a parallel course with this eruption, 
they suddenly came upon a pit-crater, which is named on the map 
" the Old Crater." This they found to be one hundred and fifty feet 
deep, and covered with bushes ; its diameter is about one mile. To- 
wards the centre, steam was issuing from some small cracks. They 
now ascended part of Moku-opuhi, but found themselves soon on the 
edge of another pit-crater, the deepest they had yet seen : the walls 
of this appeared to be of more recent date than the others, for the north 
part of the hill bounded it, and it was supposed to be eighteen hundred 
feet deep. 

The old bank to the south was clothed with bushes : the part of 
this which they ascended proved very treacherous to the footing, and 
occasioned no small panic, as it gave way underneath their feet, 
threatening them with instant destruction. 

On the 1st of January, they pursued some of the steam-vents, until 
they reached the Pahuhali road. Here Mr. Brinsmade left them, to 
proceed on his way to Hilo, where he shortly afterwards embarked 
for Oahu, with his health (as he wrote me) quite re-established, not- 
withstanding the fatigue and exposure he had undergone. To his 
agreeable disposition on the journey, and his kind attention to us during 
our stay in these islands, we feel ourselves greatly indebted. 

Messrs. Drayton and Brackenridge continued their route to Pahu- 
hali, where they procured a guide to take them to the lava stream. 
Pahuhali is a small village situated one and a half miles from it. They 
soon reached the great flow, which had spread destruction throughout 
its course, leaving nothing standing that came in its way. It was 
from one to three miles wide : down its middle was seen the lorg 
channel or rent from which the stream had poured forth, running for 
the most part smooth, though occasionally in wrinkled and twisted 
forms, the scoria lying on the outer extremities of the flow, as though 

HAWAII. 217 

it had been borne on the surface of the molten mass, and thrown off 
on one side. 

After surveying about five miles of its extent and to within three 
of its termination at the sea, they returned to Pahuhali, passing through 
an extensive bamboo-brake in the forest, many of whose stems were 
five inches in diameter. The next day they returned to the ship at Hilo. 

The district of Waimea is situated on the northwest side of the 
island. So much of the soil of this district as lies along the coast, 
though rich, is badly watered, and seven or eight miles in the interior 
from Kawaihae Bay, it becomes exceedingly rocky and barren. The 
amount of the good land is supposed to be about one hundred square 
miles, and the greater part of this lies on the eastern side, where it is 
well watered. The face of this district combines hills, valleys, plains, 
and mountains. 

The high land to the eastward of Kawaihae causes an almost perpe- 
tual calm. This mountain region is rocky, and has a burnt appear- 
ance until the eastern side of the mountain is reached, when a dense 
forest and a most luxuriant vegetation succeed. 

On the south are Mauna Kea and the barren lava plains. The 
latter lie, as we have seen, between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, 
where desolation reigns. In this plain is said to be the remains of 
a pathway, upwards of a mile in length, of flat stones, leading to 
the temple of Kaili, before described in Messrs. Peale and Rich's 

The climate of this district is, upon the whole, unpleasant, particu- 
larly at Waimea, in consequence of the trade-wind, which is exceed- 
ingly strong, bringing with it a mist towards sunset. This wind 
rushes furiously down between the mountains which bound the valley 
of Waimea, and becomes very dangerous to shipping in the bay. It 
is called by the natives " mumuku," and is foretold by them from an 
illuminated streak that is seen far inland. This is believed to be 
caused by the reflection of the twilight on the mist that always accom- 
panies the mumuku. 

The productions of Waimea are the same as those of the other 
districts, but it abounds also in timber of good size and quality for 
building. This was the famous sandalwood district, whence Kame- 
hameha procured the cargoes which he sold for the Canton market. 
As I have before remarked, there are now no trees left larger than 
mere saplings. The niau, or bastard sandalwood, is plentiful, and 
considered as a fine wood for building. 

Waimea was also the principal place of export for hides, tallow, 
and beef. Of these articles only a small amount is now exported, 

VOL. iv. T 28 

218 HAWAII.. 

owing to the taboo on cattle. Leather is here tanned in sufficient 
quantities to meet the wants of the domestic manufacture, and there 
are many trees having astringent barks, adapted to the use of the 

A species of morus abounds in the forests : from this, a tapa is made 
that is highly esteemed, and which is exported to other parts of the 

The cultivation in this district is much affected by the annoyance of 
caterpillars, which prove very destructive to the crops. 

Waimea enjoys frequent communication with Honolulu, which 
affords the best market in the group. Besides, there are three or four 
stores, kept by foreigners, for trade and barter. 

In 1830, Waimea was first brought into notice by Governor Adams, 
who took up his residence there for the purpose of taking the wild 
cattle, that had become extremely numerous. While he remained in 
it, there was much activity and life : all trades found employment ; 
roads were made, and ox-carts travelled a distance of fifty miles. Now, 
since the taboo has been laid, the place is comparatively deserted ; and 
unless the cultivation of the soil be resorted to, it will, before many 
years, become a barren waste. 

During the period of its prosperity, many of the habitations of the 
natives were improved, and they advanced much in civilization. Some 
of them own horses and cattle, and are industrious; but the mass, who 
have lived on this precarious employment, and found their subsistence 
in that way, have become, since it ceased, more indolent than before. 

In this district there are forty-two schools ; half of these are for 
adults and half for children ; all are taught by native teachers, except- 
ing two, which are under the instruction of the missionary, the Rev. 
Mr. Lyons and his wife. In these there are about four hundred children 
and five hundred adults. 

The population is registered at six thousand five hundred, of whom 
four thousand seven hundred and fifty-four can read ; about one-fourth 
of this number write and understand some arithmetic ; nearly four 
hundred study geography. The number of communicants is two 
thousand eight hundred and fifty-six. 

From a comparison of births and deaths, the population would seem 
to be decreasing. Of the former there were registered in 1839 one 
hundred and sixty-nine, of the latter two hundred and thirteen. Of 
marriages there were about fifty in the year. 

Infanticide does not exist in this district, nor is intemperance a 
common vice ; ava, made from fermented potatoes, is considerably 
used, and also tobacco. 

HAWAII. 219 

The diseases are fevers, inflammation, and scrofula. 

The opinion generally prevails, that the natives of the Sandwich 
Islands have an abundance of food, and are not exposed to any hard- 
ships ; but this I found to be extremely erroneous ; for, with the excep- 
tion of chiefs, and those immediately connected with them, they often 
suffer as much as the poor of other countries. As civilization advanced 
this suffering seems to have increased, partly owing to the decrease of 
food, and partly to the diminution in the authority of the chiefs. Many 
were formerly obliged to labour for the chiefs, by whom they were in 
turn supported ; these are now compelled to trust to their own resources 
for support, and seldom can be brought to work until they are driven 
by necessity. 

The Kohala district lies on the north point of Hawaii, and is divided 
from that of Waimea by a range of mountains. The soil on the lee- 
ward shore is barren from three to five miles inland. On the windward 
shore it is of good quality quite to the beach. The face of the country 
is regular, gradually ascending from the coast to the summit of the 
high lands. 

Kohala, the residence of the missionary, the Rev. Mr. Bliss, is the 
principal place in this district. The view from that place is pleasing; 
in front is a fine prospect of the ocean, with the island of Maui in the 
rear ; the ground gradually rises from the shore to the volcanic peaks 
of Mauna Kea, tipped with snow ; while on the right and left are 
extensive forests and uncultivated fields. 

In this district it is estimated that there are fifty thousand acres of 
good arable land, much of which is fit for the plough, and suitable for 
the growth of sugar-cane, Indian corn, potatoes, the mulberry, and the 
other productions of the country. The country inland, especially, is 
well suited to the culture of the common potato. It is also well adapted 
for grazing, but is now a waste. The natives only raise sufficient taro, 
sugar-cane, and sweet-potatoes, for their own use, and a very small 
patch suffices to supply their wants. Some of them attempt to carry a 
small quantity of their produce, on their backs or in canoes, to 
Kawaihae, for sale, but this is of little account. One of the natives, 
however, has been induced to begin the erection of a sugar-mill. 

Little has been done by the inhabitants towards the improvement of 
their dwellings: these are very small and often exceedingly filthy : the 
doors are from two and a half to three feet high. A few attempts have 
been made to erect larger houses, and to improve the quality of the 
thatch; but the people do not seem inclined to change their former 
modes of life. 

220 HAWAII. 

To give some idea of the state of these people and their wants. It 
is admitted by all, that licentiousness prevails to a great extent among 
the people, even at present, but to a far less degree than formerly : 
then promiscuous intercourse was almost general, men were living 
with several wives, and vice versa. No improvement in this respect 
had been made, until the missionaries began their labours. To them 
this nation owes its moral code, and the enactment of laws respecting 
marriage. A native's idea of luxury does not extend beyond poe and 
fish, with which he usually seems satisfied, and when they are ob- 
tained ceases all exertion. To overcome this inertness, it is requisite 
that they should, as some few do, feel artificial wants, which cause 
them to look about for employment. Even these are so few that they 
are soon satisfied. It is said a native may be supported in the Ha- 
waiian Islands for two or three cents a day : on some of the islands 
they receive no more than seventy-five cents per week, and even this 
is paid to them in tickets, entitling them to goods to that amount from 
the store of their employer, who pays them in this way at an advance 
of fifty to one hundred per cent. ; this brings the value of their labour 
for the week (six days) down to twenty-five or thirty cents. This is 
all the inducement the commercial men or foreign residents hold out to 
the natives to work. 

The population of the Kohala district consists of six thousand four 
hundred ; and during a year and a half it has diminished between four 
and five hundred, owing in part to emigration. As to the other causes 
of decrease, if they exist, there are no facts to show it. 

The schools are not attended with any regularity : sometimes they 
are crowded, at other times thinly attended. This is attributed to the 
want of proper teachers, and on the part of the parents to a want of 
interest in the education of their children. About one thousand two 
hundred children are regarded as scholars in the different schools ; one 
hundred of these are taught in the station school, under the care and 
personal superintendence of the missionaries. At the last examination 
of these schools, eight hundred were present, four hundred and sixty 
of whom are able to read, several can write, and a few have made 
some advancement in mental and written arithmetic. Of the adults in 
the schools, there were one thousand one hundred who could read 

The church was organized in this district in 1838, and in 1840 
there were nine hundred and fifty who professed Christianity, though 
it is believed that all are not Christians. 

Mr. Bliss states that the people of Kohala are intemperate in the use 

HAWAII. 221 

of tobacco, and that he has known some deaths from this cause. He, 
however, bears testimony, that there is some reformation in regard to 
this debasing habit. 

The diseases are very similar to those mentioned in other places, 
with the exception of several cases of decided consumption which 
have been met with. The climate is believed to be, upon the whole, 
more healthy than other parts of the island, and the weather is gene- 
rally cool, with a bracing air. 

On the 12th of February, I witnessed an interesting sight, the 
chase of blackfish, of which a school was seen in the afternoon in the 
bay. Upon this, the natives who were fishing, and those on shore, 
put off in their canoes to get to seaward of them : when this was 
effected, they began making a great noise, to drive the fish in ; and 
finally succeeded in forcing many of them into shoal water, from 
whence they were dragged on the beach, when about twenty of large 
size were taken. I measured one, which was eight and a half feet 
long. The whole scene was animated, and the fish seemed completely 
bewildered and exhausted from fright. They afforded a fine feast to 
all the inhabitants of the bay, besides yielding plenty of oil, of which 
they are very fond. The moment a school of porpoises is discovered, 
it is their usual practice to drive them in, gently at first, but when 
they are sufficiently close, a loud clamour begins, in which old and 
young of both sexes join. 

Mr. Drayton was, with the exception of Dr. Pickering, the last to 
visit the crater. On the road to Keaui, the former examined a curious 
cave, called by the natives Pariorii, which is said to have been one of 
the dancing-halls of the attendants of the goddess Pele. This legend 
also points out the drums upon which the music was performed. 
These are hollow cones or pillars formed by the lava blistering up, 
and remaining hollow : when struck, they give a deep sound, not unlike 
that from a large drum. The cave is said to have been much cur- 
tailed in its dimensions about a century ago. 

At all the small places along the coast there are some petty officers, 
mostly connected with and appointed by the missionaries. Besides the 
religious duties they perform, they are likewise tax-gatherers, have a 
good deal of authority over the people, and were found to be the 
greatest extortioners our gentlemen met with. 

At some of the houses, the natives were seen to be very much afraid 
of the tax-gatherers, and when any of them made their appearance, all 
merriment would cease ; those who were indulging in a pipe or cigar, 
would at once put them aside, and all seemed under restraint. 

The native women are generally found employed, either in plaiting 


222 HAWAII. 

hats from the flowering stock of the sugar-cane, or making mats from 
the bleached leaves of the pandanus. 

At some of the houses where Mr. Drayton stopped, the women 
were dressed as they are represented when dancing, in the figures of 
Cook and Vancouver's voyages ; they are still permitted to dance, but 
the song called hoori-hoori is forbidden on account of its indecency. 

Dr. Pickering was the last who visited the crater of Kilauea. He 
passed towards the lava stream by the way of Pahuhali, having John 
the pilot as his guide, and spent the first night about three miles to the 
south of that place. The inhabitants were found to have returned to 
their place of residence, and were again cultivating the ground. 

He crossed the recent lava near its upper part, and found it over- 
lying the soil, about twelve feet in thickness, having a surface resem- 
bling the " black ledge," with the friable vitreous crust before remarked. 
Towards the margin of the stream he found many trees, two feet in 
diameter, which the lava had flowed around and burnt off. The road 
passed between two patches of lava, and had not been burnt as the 
natives had reported ; crevices, however, passed across, and divided 
the road. After exploring these parts, Dr. Pickering proceeded to 
Kaimo, which was found to be a large village, scattered along the 
beach for one and a half miles. Cocoa-nut trees were observed to be 
more numerous here than at any other place on the island. 

They here found a well-built school-house, kept by a native teacher. 
This place has seldom been visited by foreigners, and the consequence 
was a very great curiosity to see the strangers. The proportion of 
children was larger than usual. 

From Kaimo, Dr. Pickering passed along the coast, which is formed 
of lava that breaks off suddenly, and leaves a perpendicular cliff, from 
thirty to sixty feet high, against which the sea breaks with violence. 
Along this coast houses are rarely to be met with, and when they are 
seen it is at those points where, from accident or other causes, there is 
a breach in the lava. 

Owing to the porous nature of the lava, the dwellers on the shore 
are at times much distressed for water, and resort to various devices 
to obtain it. In some places they use the leaves of the ti plant (Dra- 
caena) fastened together; also boards set obliquely, with calabashes 
underneath, to catch the drops of rain ; and in other cases the cala- 
bashes are set to obtain the drippings from the roofs. 

Dr. Pickering reached Panau, and afterwards the patches of the 
recent eruption which lie in the vicinity of the pit-crater of Alealea-nui, 
and found them unaltered since they had been seen by me. What 
seems remarkable, there was no earthquake felt at Hilo before, during 

HAWAII. 223 

the time of, or after the eruption. It has been mentioned, that some 
slight shocks were felt in the neighbourhood of Nanavalie, but they are 
reported as being very frequent and violent at Kealakeakua Bay, on 
the opposite side of the island, though much more remote from the 
scene of destruction than Hilo. 

Two of the missionaries were once on the black ledge, looking 
down on the burning lake, when an earthquake took place which was 
felt over the whole island : no change took place in the lake, or else- 
where in the crater, excepting that some pieces of stones were shaken 
down from the surrounding walls. 

From all the information I could obtain, the causes of the earth- 
quakes do not appear to be connected with the action of the volcanoes. 
The accounts, however, are contradictory, and depend principally 
upon native testimony, which is not to be relied on in such observa- 
tions. It is to be hoped, that the resident missionaries will endeavour 
to devote a small portion of their time to the interesting phenomena of 
these eruptions. 

Dr. Pickering reached Kilauea on the 22d of January, where he 
found the large lake, according to his estimation, still about thirty feet 
below the rim, to which height it had again risen. If this estimate 
was accurate, it would prove a rapid formation of lava, for only ten 
days had elapsed since we had seen it many feet lower. About 9 
p. M. of the same day, a large part of the southern bank fell in at 
once, producing a great light, and surging to and fro for some minutes, 
the surface of the fluid rising sometimes even with the rim. 

According to the native account, the crater is more active at night 
than in the day, but this probably arises from its greater apparent 

The small or Judd's Lake, was still overflowing in all directions, 
and this action had continued for the last ten days. According to 
Dr. Pickering's account, it was not as active as on its first outbreak. 
A vast quantity of lava had been poured out since our last visit, and 
there was a very perceptible increase of it in the crater. 

I have before remarked the great difficulty of retaining a knowledge 
of the situation and relative position of things, on first descending on 
the "black ledge." This was evident from Dr. Pickering's not 
recollecting objects which must have been seen by him. 

The way he accounts for this is, that every thing at first was so 
novel, and excited so much wonder and astonishment, that it made no 
lasting or distinct impression ; but after proceeding for some time, this 
appears to have worn off, and the eye became accustomed to the 

224 HAWAII. 

scene ; for on descending from the black ledge to the bottom of the 
crater, he found the way quite familiar, and every toppling rock was 
precisely in the same position. The bottom of the crater had been 
entirely overflowed during our absence, which made it more even, and 
the travelling more easy. * 

The new lava was of four or five different varieties, as if each 
overflow had been of a different kind. The variety that seemed to 
predominate was quite thick and solid, and its crust had something of 
a metallic or leaden lustre; the solidity of the layers seemed to be in 
proportion to their thickness, and where this was five or six feet, the 
central parts were compact and nearly destitute of vesicles. 

On first entering on the lower lava, Mr. Colvocoressis and the 
Doctor found it was so hot that they were fearful they could not 
proceed ; but on advancing they found the heat did not increase, and 
by avoiding the small lake, which was then overflowing, they had no 
difficulty in reaching the larger one. 

The surface was, as has been before remarked, about thirty feet 
below the rim : they were to the north of the great lake, and from that 
side of the cauldron the jets were thrown up. Walking up to the edge, 
they found it was impossible to look at the glowing pool for more than 
an instant at a time, on account of the heat and glare on the face and 
eyes, that made it necessary to retreat almost immediately a few paces 
backward. The more distant and darker part of the lake appeared 
little less glowing. The noise, which has been represented by former 
visitors as so terrific, and the absence of which I have before remarked, 
was so trifling during this visit that it was not even regarded by them 
in conversation. In this place Dr. Pickering says they remained some 
ten minutes, but truly remarks, " It may have been more or less ; for, 
to look on the tottering banks, seemingly so inadequate to hold a fluid 
like this, to see it glowing with almost a white heat, just above the 
surface, and the current directing itself towards them, and to reflect 
upon the falling in that had occurred the evening before; added to 
which, Judd's Lake might, by a change of its overflow to a contrary 
direction, have cut off all retreat." It was indeed no place to take 
note of time. 

That variety of lava which is destitute of a vitreous crust, is found 
on the black ledge alone, and none of it was observed in the lower pit. 
Noises of all kinds were carefully attended to, and if not heard were 
expected and referred to the crater itself: these sometimes proceed 
from the rolling down of small pieces of lava on the black ledge, 
making a pattering kind of noise, by no means pleasant. 

HAWAII. 225 

Dr. Pickering found a new route of descent into the crater, and one 
that he deemed the most easily accomplished. This was on the south- 
east side, near the sulphur-bank. 

While in the crater on the black ledge at night, there is often a 
deceptive appearance of a rising storm, from the darkness produced by 
the overhanging cloud. 

The old crevices have been found to be the only ones that give out 

Though volcanic action is and has been so rife in this group of 
islands, and so many appearances of it are to be seen on the surface, 
both in the crater shape, and also that of lava crevices and jets, yet 
there are but few that ought to claim the name of volcanoes. Those 
that attract most attention are Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and Hualalai, as 
being in present action, and the great crater of Haleakala. These 
have already been described sufficiently in the foregoing pages. 

Cone-craters, or hills of scoriaceous lava, are found throughout the 
group, sometimes on the sides of the larger mountains, at others 
isolated near the coast. Many of these are composed of fragments of 
lava and sand. They are likewise to be seen in the terminal craters 
of Mauna Loa and Haleakala, and do not appear to have ever dis- 
charged any fluid lava, but seem to owe their shape to the successive 
discharges of the loose materials. They are frequently in a lineal 
direction, as will be observed by inspecting the map of Hawaii ; but 
this will give little idea of their number. If reports be true relative to 
Hualalai, hundreds may be seen from its summit, like excrescences on 
its sides. 

One of the most striking features of this island is the difference in the 
formation of the two great mountains, whose height so nearly corre- 
sponds. The form of Mauna Loa is unique, and has been increasing, 
from the overflow of its terminal or pit-crater, and may perhaps be 
entirely formed by the boiling over of this, for upon reflection this 
would not seem impossible, but, indeed, quite probable ; and one is irre- 
sistibly drawn to this conclusion on ascending it. 

The extent of the lava stream flowing over the surface is very great, 
and has been supplied by most copious springs ; the recent flow, for 
instance, covered an area of twenty square miles with a thickness of 
twelve feet on an average. The height of Mauna Kea has been in- 
creasing from the effects of the cone-craters, of which there are now 
nine on the surface of its flat top : thus while one gives out a molten 
mass, the other sends forth scoria. 

The pit-craters are also represented on the map. They have not 
been the seat of volcanic action, yet from their extraordinary forma- 
VOL. iv. 29 

226 HAWAII. 

tion, they are deserving of that name: many exhibit a flow oflava into 
them. The mode of their formation seems very simple, and is just the 
effect that one would suppose to arise from a sudden undermining ; but 
that they should always form nearly a true circle, with perpendicular 
walls, is remarkable, and cannot be easily accounted for. 

As will have been seen, there have been copious eruptions from the 
sides as well as from the terminal crater of Mauna Loa, and among 
these may be reckoned that of Kilauea on its flank. It was proved 
satisfactorily to my mind that the craters have no connexion whatever 
with each other. An instance has been stated, where none apparently 
existed between Judd's and the large lake in the crater of Kilauea, 
although they were only two thousand feet apart, and it is equally 
evident that Kilauea has none with the top of the mountain. The 
eruption of 1832, from the terminal crater, and the one that has taken 
place since our visit, is sufficient proof of this. All these flows tend 
constantly to swell and increase the bulk of this mountain. 

It has been remarked already, that a great deception in relation to 
the height of these mountains occurs when they are first viewed from 
the neighbouring sea. This is more particularly the case when the 
weather is clear ; and the impression was hardly removed from my mind 
even after the fatigue and labour encountered during our visit to Mauna 
Loa. I still could not help wondering how they could possibly be as 
high as I had found them by actual measurement. 

In addition to the information regarding the Hawaiian Group, which 
has fallen naturally under one or other of the preceding chapters, 
several miscellaneous matters attracted our notice, which require to be 
spoken of before we take our final leave of them. 

Mr. Coan obliged me with the following account of the influx of the 
sea at Hilo, on the 7th of November, 1837. A similar occurrence, it 
will be recollected, took place at the island of Tutuila, in the Samoan 

At about seven o'clock, p. M., the sea at Hilo was observed to retire 
far below its usual low-water mark. In a few moments afterwards the 
water returned in a gigantic wave, rushing to the shore with great 
velocity, and breaking upon the beach with a noise like a peal of 
thunder. All the low grounds in the neighbourhood of the beach were 
instantly submerged, and a large number of houses were swept away. 
So sudden and unexpected was the catastrophe, that many of the 
inhabitants were engulfed in the flood, and compelled to struggle for 
their lives. The sea remained upon the land about fifteen minutes, 
when it retired beyond the line of low water, and after a short interval, 
returned again, but with less violence. It afterwards continued to 

HAWAII. 227 

vibrate for a time, gradually decreasing at each oscillation, until it 
attained its usual level. 

The scene of distress which this phenomenon produced was great. 
Hundreds of natives were at a meeting near the sea-shore, when the 
wave rushed upon them, and left them struggling amidst the wreck of 
their worldly effects. Some of them were carried to sea, while others 
were dashed upon the shore, surrounded by the fragments of their 
houses, which had been broken to pieces, together with the timber, 
frames, calabashes, &c. 

Cries of distress came from all sides, as well from those who were 
struggling for life, as those who had come down to their relief. Parents 
were rushing to and fro, looking for their children, husbands for their 
wives, children for their parents, each inquiring for the other, with 
waitings and hallooings. The whole, combined with the loud roar of 
the sea, rendered the scene one of thrilling interest. Fortunately, an 
English whaler, the Admiral Cockburn, of which James Lawrence 
was commander, was lying in the bay at the time. He in a most 
praiseworthy manner lowered his boats, and kept them cruising 
about the bay, in search of the natives, many of whom were picked 
up, wearied and exhausted, and by this timely aid their lives were 
preserved. Not a canoe was left on the shore to assist in this 

The master of the Admiral Cockburn affirms that the water ran 
past his ship at the rate of eight knots an hour, and that the soundings 
were reduced from five to three and a half fathoms, which left a great 
part of the bay dry. 

At Oahu this phenomenon was likewise noted by Dr. Rooke, who 
has given an account of it in the Hawaiian Spectator, Vol. L, Ja- 
nuary, 1838. The time of its occurrence, as given by him, was six 
o'clock, p. M., and the sea continued to vibrate until the next day at 
noon. The time of commencement at Oahu preceded that at Hilo by 
half an hour. 

It appears, from the facts that have been stated relative to a like 
phenomenon at Tutuila, that although the two were not coincident, 
yet they were so closely allied in point of time, as to leave no doubt 
of the same cause having produced both. It is certain that the phe- 
nomenon took place first at the Samoan Group, and supposing that the 
two watches by which it was noted were both correct, as the difference 
of longitude is thirteen degrees, the elapsed time from the first wave at 
Tutuila to that of the observations at Oahu, allowing for the difference 
of longitude, was two hours, thirty minutes. The actual distance is two 
thousand two hundred and fifty miles, on a course N. 20 E., which 

228 HAWAII. 

would prove that the wave must have proceeded from south to north 
at the rate of nine hundred miles an hour. It would also go to prove 
that the wave which was felt at Hilo, and on the north side of Maui, 
was a returning wave, the difference of time having been an hour; 
and what is remarkable, its extent seems to have been confined to a 
very small belt, as it does not appear to have been felt at Kauai. 
There was no recoil or return wave on the north side of Tutuila. Its 
breadth, therefore, would seem not to have extended beyond one 
hundred miles. 

By comparing the velocity of its rise and fall, we find that at Tu- 
tuila it exceeded that at Oahu. At the former place the rise and fall 
was nine and a half feet in two minutes, while at the latter it was 
only two feet a minute. It is remarkable that it should not have 
reached above high-water mark on the south side of the Hawaiian 
Group. The centre of the wave seems to have passed in a line over 
Maui. The southern side of that island was more affected than that 
of Oahu, but the wave on the north side seems to have been larger 
and more destructive, for the small village of Kahului, in the district 
of Wailuku, was entirely swept away. 

The inhabitants of Kahului, on seeing the sea retiring, rushed to the 
reefs with great joy to secure the fish, but before they could reach them 
the sea-wave came rolling in, like an extended wall, to bury and destroy 
all their habitations, or sweep them away. Only two lives, however, 
were lost there, while at Hilo there were twelve persons missing. The 
rise at Hilo, according to a mark on the boat-house, was found to be 
eleven feet above ordinary high- water mark. 

The weather was somewhat similar, and was at both places rather 

I afterwards made inquiries on the coast of California whether this 
rise and fall of the sea had been observed there, but did not succeed in 
obtaining any information. 

There was a similar phenomenon in the year 1819 ; but, from all 
accounts, it appears to have been less violent. 

Earthquakes are quite common on Hawaii: they appear to be, for 
the most part, local ; thus, they are occasionally felt at Maui, but I 
heard of none at Oahu or Kauai. 

The following are those observed at Hilo since July 1832, which 
the Rev. Mr. Lyman furnished me from his memorandum, viz. : 

* On comparing the times of this great rush of waters at the two points, viz. : the Samoan 
Islands and this group, we find them almost coincident with the earthquake of Chili, that 
happened on the 7th of November, 1837 ; how far they are to be imputed to it, is a subject 
of interesting inquiry that it is not in my power to pursue in this place. 



June, 1833. Two slight shocks. 

October 3d, " Shocks in the night; one slight. 

" 13th, " At 3 P. M. a smart shock, motion up and down. 

February 19th, 1834. At C P. M. a shock which shook down stone walls, stopped 

clocks, upset bottles, and threw milk out of pans but half-full. 
Undulating motion north and south. 

" " " At 9 P. M. another, but a slight shock. 

May 14th, " Between 2 and 3 p. M. a severe shock. 

August 3d, " Between 3 and 4 A. M. a severe shock. 

March 23d, 1835. At 9 A. M. a slight shock. 

" 2Gth, " At twenty-five minutes past 6 A. M. three shocks in quick 


July 21st, " Three shocks during the day. 

September 6th, " Between 2 and 3 A. M. a slight shock. 

In the year 1836. There were none felt. 

June 20th, 1837. At forty minutes past 6 P. M. two shocks. 

January 4th, 1838. One severe shock. 

" 29th, " At 10 P. M., there were three shocks in quick succession 

two heavy, the third light 

July 9th, " A slight shock in the morning. 

October 16th, " Ajar, accompanied with a noise, resembling the discharge 

of a cannon. 

Nov. 5th, " One shock in the morning, and two in the afternoon. 

" 6th, One shock in the morning. 

" 7th, " A smart shock at midnight, one at 3 A. M., and another at 


" 8th to 13th, " Slight shocks were constantly occurring, and on several of 
these days it was thought the ground was never free from 

December 4th, " A slight shock, but decided and distinct 

9th, " A slight shock. 

" 10th, " A slight shock at 4 A. M. 

" 12th, " A slight shock. 

" At 1 P. M., a severe shock, attended with all the phenomena 
of that of February 1834. The motion of the earth was 
such as to render it difficult to walk or stand : the motion 
was up and down. 

April 7th, 1839. At midday a smart shock. 

February 1st, 1840. Half-past 1 p. M. a smart shock. 

May 5th, " At 4 p. M. a slight shock. 

September 5th, " At 10 p. M. a slight shock. 

October 14th, " At 9 p. M. a slight shock. 

December 18th, " At 5 A. M. two severe shocks. 
February 18th, 1841. A slight shock. 
March 18th, " Severe; felt at Maui. 

Making in all fifty shocks in eight years. 

The usual motion or jar is like that produced by the firing of distant 
artillery, or the falling of a heavy body on the ground ; to this is added 
a tremulous motion when the earthquake is slight. 

230 HAWAII. 

On the 3d of March the instruments were all embarked, and the 
observatory duties broken up. 

On the 4th of March, at 9 p. M., an attempt was made to get under 
way, but the land-breeze failed. We made another attempt the next 
morning, but were again obliged to anchor near the end of the reef. 
I mention these circumstances, in order to show the difficulties that 
sometimes occur in getting to sea from this port. This is in conse- 
quence of the land-breeze frequently failing near the shore, so that a 
vessel is sometimes becalmed for more than half a day between the 
two winds. Fortunately, there is little or no current here, and, there- 
fore, no danger to be apprehended, although it is a disagreeable situa- 
tion to be placed in. 

As respects the bay of Hilo, I cannot but view it as a safe anchor- 
age. We were detained there about three months, and never had a 
gale strong enough to ride to our anchors, though these were the 
winter months, December, January, and February. At times, how- 
ever, there was a considerable swell rolling in, so as to make it 
uncomfortable on board ship. The weather we met with was not so 
rainy as I had been led to expect from the accounts given me, and 
during the month of February we had some of the most delightful 
weather I ever experienced. 

Provisions can be obtained, though not in abundance, and the 
markets are not well supplied. The prices are the same as those at 
Honolulu, although the demand is not so great. For wild cattle we 
were asked thirty dollars. Kanuha, the chief, has the character of 
wishing to impose upon strangers : I must, however, do him the justice 
to say, that this imputation seems undeserved. Like all the rest of the 
natives, he will ask double ; but it is only requisite to bargain for the 
articles required, and for services beforehand, and to insist on them 
complying strictly with their engagement ; when this is done, no diffi- 
culty will be experienced. 

The best landing is at Waiakea, which gives its name to the bay, 
although it has been called Hilo and Byron's Bay. The latter name 
was conferred on it, in compliment to Lord Byron, by Kaahumanu ; 
but the native appellation cannot be set aside, and the bay is now 
scarcely known among the natives when called Byron's. 

Excellent water is to be had in abundance, and with great ease, 
within the mouth of the Wailuku river ; but it requires some care in 
passing in and out the river when the surf is high. 

Although I have spoken of the landing on the eastern side of this 
bay as being the best, yet it is feasible to land on the beach in proper 

HAWAII. 231 

boats. Wood is also to be had here, and at a much less price than at 
Oahu. There is another inducement, which makes it a desirable 
place for vessels to recruit at there are no grog-shops as yet. 

The rise of the tide is three feet high water full and change at 
1 P. M. 

The morning previous to our sailing, I learned much to my surprise 
that the Rev. Mr. Coan had received many complaints from the natives, 
of the destruction of the sugar-cane by my crew. Although I was 
well convinced that the complaints were unfounded, as strict orders 
had been given that no plantation should be touched, I sent Mr. Wal- 
dron on shore to inquire into it, and to settle, any demands. It turned 
out as I had expected, that little or no damage had been done, and 
this fact was evident enough. We were compelled, however, to pay 
ten dollars, which I cannot but view as a piece of extortion. How 
far the reverend missionary was aware of its being so, I will not pre- 
tend to say ; but a little inquiry would have satisfied him that not 
one-tenth part of the value had been touched, if any. I do not mention 
this in any feeling of hostility towards the missionary : I would, how- 
ever, recommend that when complaints are made, they should at once 
be sent to head-quarters, and not allowed to be heard through any other 

After this affair was arranged, I had the gratification to receive a 
complimentary notice from Mr. Coan, on the behaviour and exemplary 
conduct of my crew during the whole time the ship was at Hilo. 








BY the 15th of February I found that my long detention at Hilo 
would place it out of my power to visit the Marquesas Islands, as I 
had intended. I therefore determined, before returning to Oahu, 
which I intended should be by the 1st of April, to pass a short time 
at Maui ; and as we had exhausted the field of research on Hawaii, I 
gave orders to Messrs. Pickering, Drayton, and Brackenridge, to take 
passage thither in a small vessel, in order that they might have a 
longer time to explore that island. Dr. Judd took passage in the same 
vessel, to return to Oahu. It was with much regret that I parted with 
him, and I feel it my duty here to acknowledge the obligations I am 
under to him, for the service he performed on this tour of duty. I 
should have experienced great trouble and difficulty with the natives, 
had it not been for his admirable management. He succeeded in 
settling with all of them without any difficulty, when it was once 
understood that no sort of imposition would be allowed. 

On the 5th of March, we succeeded in getting to sea, and at eight 
o'clock discharged John Ely, the pilot, whom we had found of great 
use as a guide to the volcano, &c. He possessed a good deal of 
knowledge respecting the native character, acquired during a sojourn 
of twenty years among them, and from his conversation he did not 
appear to entertain much friendship or respect for them. 

The longitude of Waiakea Bay was found to be 155 03' 00" W., 
latitude 19 43' 51" N. 

At 1 p. M. the sea-breeze reached us, and soon wafted us beyond the 
region of calms. We then steered to the westward to pass through 
the channel between Hawaii and Maui, which is thirty miles wide. 


236 M A U I. 

The afternoon was fine, and the snowy peak of Mauna Kea was 
quite distinct: by running a base line with the patent log, and obtaining 
the requisite angles, we made its height thirteen thousand six hundred 
and fifty-six feet. 

At midnight, being nearly up with Kahoolawe, we hove-to, to await 
daylight, as I wished to look for a shoal that was supposed to exist off 
its southern end. I passed within two and a half miles of that point, 
and had nothing less than seven and a quarter fathoms water. By 
half-past nine we had entirely lost the trades, owing to the high land, 
and, after being becalmed for an hour, we took a light sea-breeze from 
the southwest, which slowly brought us to an anchorage in Lahaina 
Roads, abreast of the king's palace. 

The island of Maui is divided into two oval-shaped peninsulas, 
connected by a low isthmus, only a few feet higher than the beach. 
Although on a first view the peninsulas resemble each other, on closer 
examination they are found to be very different. East Maui is the 
largest of the two, and rises in one unbroken mountain ten thousand 
feet in elevation, which falls almost perpendicularly towards the sea. 
West Maui has many sharp peaks and ridges, which are divided by 
deep valleys, and which in descending towards the sea open out and 
form sloping plains on the north and south sides of considerable extent. 
The highest peak of West Maui was found, by triangulation, to be 
six thousand one hundred and thirty feet. 

An officer was at once despatched to wait upon the king, who sig- 
nified his desire to see me in the afternoon. I accordingly had the 
honour of waiting on him, and was received with great warmth and 
kindness. I paid him a long visit, in which the conversation turned 
principally on the business of his islands. 

On my way back after leaving the king's house, I was very much 
amused with the sight of a number of little children, that could but 
barely creep, crawling into the deep water of the enclosed spaces 
along the path, and paddling about with as much confidence as if it 
was their native element, and seemingly more at home than on the 
land. They reminded me of ducklings. No regard seemed to be 
paid to them by the older ones or their parents ; and it was a matter 
of surprise to them that I should think it any thing extraordinary. 
Although these young children could not exactly swim, yet by the 
movements of their arms and legs they contrived to make progress and 
keep their heads well above water. I returned on board before sunse', 
where I found a handsome present of fish, that had just been sent off 
by the king. 

The most remarkable building to be seen as the bay of Lahaina is 

MAUL 237 

approached, is the seminary of Lahainaluna situated on the side of 
the mountain that rises behind Lahaina. 

The king's palace is built of coral rock, and is only half finished : it 
already seems to be in a somewhat dilapidated state, and exhibits 
poverty rather than regal magnificence. I could not but feel that too 
little attention had been given to his household by those who have had 
the management of his affairs. I regretted to see that any change, 
except for the better, had been effected in the native style of accom- 
modation. His present residence is neither calculated to maintain the 
respect of his subjects, nor to enhance his importance in the eyes of 
foreigners. I am well aware that improvements are going on near to 
and connected with the situation his house occupies, but I believe that 
these could all have been long since finished, had proper exertions 
been made. 

The town of Lahaina is built along the beach for a distance of three 
quarters of a mile : it is principally composed of grass-houses, situated 
as near the beach as possible : it has one principal street, with a few 
others running at right angles. After the king's palace, the fort is 
the most conspicuous object : its form is quadrangular, the longest 
side facing the sea: it is of little account, however, as a defence, 
serving chiefly to confine unruly subjects and sailors in. The area 
within is about one acre, and the walls are twenty feet high. By the 
observations which I made here, it is situated in longitude 156 41' 00" 
W., latitude 20 51' 50" N. 

There are storehouses, which are used for the reception of the 
king's revenue, that consists of large heaps of tapas. At a short 
distance from the landing are situated the cottages of the Rev. Mr. 
Richards and Dr. Baldwin, who act as missionaries here. Mr. Richards, 
as has been before remarked, is connected with the government. 

I had the pleasure of receiving his majesty on board, with suitable 
honours, accompanied by his suite. They made a very respectable 
appearance ; and although what I had already seen of the king had 
greatly prepossessed me in his favour, a visit which I paid him before 
my departure tended greatly to increase the interest I felt for his wel- 
fare. Instead of being received in the dilapidated and half-finished 
palace, I was ushered over a small causeway to a short distance 
behind it, into his private apartments, and introduced to his wife, who 
had been quite unwell. She is not acknowledged as queen. She is 
the daughter of an inferior chief on the island of Hawaii, and the pret- 
tiest woman on the island. The king, it is believed, married her from 
affection, and against the wishes of his chiefs, after they had prohibited 
his marriage with his sister Nahienaena, as has already been mentioned. 

238 MAUL 

In order to prevent any dispute in the succession to the throne, it was 
formerly deemed necessary that the king should take all the women 
of the highest rank as his wives, and all the children born of them 
were declared and considered as his heirs. 

The present king is said to be the natural son of Kamehameha I., 
and became, from political causes, heir to the throne. 

After crossing the causeway we reached a small island : on this was 
a grass-house of moderate dimensions, surrounded by hibiscus trees, 
which grow quite low, and made a bower almost impervious to the 
sun's rays. At the entrance of the house I was met by his majesty, 
dressed in a roundabout of blue cloth, and white pantaloons. He led 
the way into the bower, in the centre of which his wife was lying in 
a clean white hammock, suspended between the trees. Every thing 
about her was pleasant-looking, betokening care and attention to her 
comfort, and a degree of refinement I little expected to see. Although 
unwell, she showed many marks of beauty, and I was much struck 
with her appearance. 

The king told me these were their private apartments, where they 
could remain undisturbed and free from intrusion. They passed most 
of their time together, and he pointed out a small hut of ti-leaves that 
he had constructed for her, in which she had been lying on new- 
mown grass. The king pointed out the improvements he had in 
contemplation, but complained that he had not money to carry them 
on. Although his income is very considerable, in tapas and native 
produce, and would have constituted great wealth in former times, 
yet, from the depreciation in the value of these articles, it is now of 
little value. He has so many hangers-on, that it takes a large amount 
to supply, maintain, and clothe them, even in the ordinary garments 
of the island. These circumstances leave the king quite as poor as 
any of his subjects. 

The little domestic scene I had witnessed gave me great pleasure, 
the more so from being quite unexpected ; and I found afterwards 
that very few are ever admitted to this sanctum sanctorum. I take 
pleasure in mentioning it, as I had not before given his majesty credit 
for the domestic virtues, which I am now satisfied he possesses to a 
great degree, both from the tenor of his conversation and the pleasing 
picture he exhibited in the last interview I had with him. 

His wife is much fairer than the natives usually, and she has not 
so coarse and disproportionate a figure as seems characteristic of the 
females of distinction in these islands. Her features, however, were 
decidedly of the native character. The tone of voice was pleasing and 

MAUL 239 

Wishing to inspect the female seminary of Wailuku, which I had 
heard much spoken of, I went over to it, in company with Mr. Drayton. 
One of the chiefs was obliging enough to furnish me with a horse for 
the occasion. We rode along the south shore of West Maui, as it is 
here termed. This portion of West Maui is rendered susceptible of 
cultivation by means of irrigation, supplied by numerous small brooks, 
running from the mountains. A very small portion, however, is thus 
cultivated ; but I should think it could be made to yield large crops of 
taro and sugar-cane, with very little care. 

The leeward side of West Maui is similar in climate to Oahu, and, 
as was to be expected, the plants were the same. 

Most of the habitations we passed were occupied by fishermen. 
Some large heaps of coral taken from the reef were observed along the 
shore, which were to be transported to Lahaina, in order to be burnt 
for lime. 

As we approached the east end of West Maui, the mountains kept 
increasing on the plain, until they formed an abrupt precipice several 
hundred feet in height at the sea. There the way led up a zigzag road, 
if road it could be called, which it is difficult for man or horse to pass 
over. A portion of this path, two or three miles in length, had been 
worked, and is yet in good repair ; but that on the south side has been 
suffered to fall entirely into ruin, and is the most difficult part to over- 

The rock of the cliff was basaltic, containing grains of chrysolite, 
which were also observed in the sand in the beds of the dry streams. 
No conglomerate was seen. 

The greatest discomfort we experienced in this excursion arose from 
the violence of the gusts that passed by us : the power of the wind was 
almost, violent enough to unhorse us, as it burst in intermitting gusts 
through the ravines every few minutes. After passing this rough 
road, we reached the sandy alluvial neck or isthmus, the lowest part 
of which is only seven feet above the sea. Here the sand is constantly 
shifting, being thrown up into " dunes," and again dissipated by the 
wind. On reaching the neck, we turned to the west, and rode seven 
miles before we reached Wailuku, over a plain nearly uninhabited, and 
hardly susceptible of cultivation, until within a mile of Wailuku. 

The seminary of Wailuku consists of an extensive range of coral 
and adobe buildings, beautifully situated on an inclined plane, with high 
and massive precipices behind, in a flourishing village, which shows 
more of systematic improvement and organized exertion than any place 
I have met with in the Hawaiian Islands. The fields, also, are better 
fenced, and the crops more diligently attended to. We were kindly 

240 M A U I. 

received by the Rev. Mr. Greene, his lady, and Miss Ogden, who have 
the charge of the establishment, which consists of eighty scholars, 
between the ages of twelve and eighteen years. Every opportunity 
was afforded me of inspecting the establishment, and while I found 
much to commend, there were many things I could have desired to see 

In the first place, I was much struck with the appearance of a want 
of cleanliness in the dresses of the scholars, contrasting so unfavour- 
ably with the neatness and cleanliness of fhe rest of the establishment. 
Neither can it be expected that they should imbibe cleanly habits, or be 
able to preserve them, when they are allowed to wear their clothes 
unchanged from the beginning to the end of the week. The dress 
consists of the usual loose gown adopted in the islands, and in which 
these children are allowed to sleep. On Saturday they wash, and on 
Sunday make their appearance in a white cotton smock, shawl, and 
bonnet, the latter of their own manufacture. Their dormitory is a long 
adobe building, with walls two feet thick, divided into compartments 
twelve feet by ten, each of which acommodates three scholars. More 
than half of this space is occupied by their bed, which is made of mats 
laid on a bank of ti-leaves, or sugar-cane, about two feet thick, with a 
small pillow of about eight inches square. What clothes they had 
were hung up in the corners, and a scanty supply they appeared to be. 
Rolls of tapa were laid on the mats, which serve to cover them at 
night. The only ventilation was through a small window and the top 
part of the partition-wall, which was left open. I passed into several 
of these small rooms, all of which had a musty smell, AS of decayed 
or mouldy vegetable matter. It was no longer a subject of surprise to 
me that the establishment had obtained the name of being unhealthy, 
or that several of the girls had died.* 

While Mr. Greene gives the scholars instruction in the various 
departments of education, Miss Ogden teaches them all kinds of useful 
employments, such as spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, quilting, 
millinery, &c. She has, also, the superintendence of their eating 
apartment, and no place could be better arranged than this part of the 
establishment: every thing has a useful purpose, and one readily sees 
the practical operation of all that is doing. I had the pleasure of 
seeing the scholars at their rneals, where all was regulated and went 
according to rule: those who were appointed to "wash up" kept their 
places while the rest left the table. They made a better appearance 

* I have since understood that this defect has been remedied, the scholars having been 
provided with bedsteads and bedding, and that no cases of sickness have since occurred. 

MAUL 241 

at their morning meal than they had done on the day of our arrival, 
wearing now neat white capes ; but I still saw the same frocks. I do 
not, however, wish to give the idea that they are not in reality clean: 
they are so beyond a doubt, as I understood they bathed almost every 
day; but they did not look tidy. Miss Ogden took her place at a 
small table, whence she was enabled to overlook the whole. Their 
food is that of the country, consisting principally of poe and fish, and 
they are occasionally indulged with molasses. 

Baths and walking-grounds are prepared for them, where they can 
take exercise. The avowed object of this establishment is to educate 
the daughters of Hawaii as wives for the young men who are educated 
at Lahainaluna. They are fed and clothed by the Missionary Society, 
and it is proposed that they shall remain at the establishment until they 
be married. 

One courtship has already taken place by letters; and I was informed 
these were the first love-letters that had ever been written in this group. 
I was extremely desirous of obtaining the originals or copies, but was 
not successful. The correspondence appears to have been carried on 
under the eye of the missionaries, and the expressions they contained 
were very common-place. 

This whole establishment does great credit to those who are engaged 
in rearing it up, on account of the method and perseverance with 
which it is carried on. It is extremely gratifying to see efforts of 
this kind made, but I cannot help doubting the policy of not allowing 
any of the burden of it fall upon the natives themselves (the parents). 
The only argument advanced in jusiification of this course, was the 
rather unsatisfactory one, that these people cannot understand and 
appreciate sufficiently the advantages, to be persuaded to contribute to 
the education of their children. As far as my own observations went, 
I believe this to be an error. As long as the children are educated 
and maintained gratis, the natives will never make any exertions to 
furnish the means. Some of the natives said to me, on my making 
inquiry why their children were not at the seminary, that they could 
not get them there, for all those admitted were selected by the mission- 
aries, and there are no other means of tuition ; they also added, that 
they would be willing to contribute a few dollars for the education of 
their children, if allowed. 

The greatest objection to the system of this school, in my opinion, is 
that the pupils are not taken at an earlier age, and before their habits 
are in any way formed, and that it is attempted to educate them ex- 
clusively for civilized life as it now is. Taken at too advanced an 
age, they have scarcely an opportunity of forgetting the life of ease 

VOL. iv. v 31 

242 MAUL 

they led while in their savage state ; and thus their early impressions 
remaining still uneradicated, they return almost as soon as they leave 
the school to their savage state, finding it more easy than to keep up 
their partially civilized habits; whereas, if they were taken very 
young, and put under a course of discipline that would make their 
improvement permanent, and were, besides, taught the way of main- 
taining themselves as they now are, by useful employment, they would 
not be so likely to relapse into their former habits, or adopt those of 
their parents. I have little doubt, that such a course would be a great 
means of reforming many of their parents, as far as they are sus- 
ceptible of reformation ; for the relation between parents and children 
is altogether different with them from what it is among us, parents 
being invariably under the control of the children, after the latter have 
grown up 

The plan of taking the children, as is done, from the dregs of the 
natives, is, I think, another mistake. The higher orders in a monar- 
chical system of government ought to be more carefully instructed than 
the others. This principle is admitted by the establishment of the 
chiefs' school at Honolulu, and I see no reason why it should not 
equally apply to the children of the petty chiefs, or second class. I am, 
indeed, satisfied that greater advantages would be derived from such 
a course, and the school would, in this way, become more popular. 
Parents of this rank would, also, be enabled to assist in its mainte- 
nance, and the lower orders, as elsewhere, would imitate the higher. 

I must do full justice to the good fare and kind attentions of Mrs. 
Greene ; and from the appearance of the supper-table, I could readily 
have believed myself in New England instead of the Hawaiian Islands. 

Early the next morning, Mr. Drayton and myself went to breakfast 
with Mr. Baily and his wife. He is the assistant missionary at this 
station, and superintends the school for boys. It being Saturday, and 
a holiday, we had not the pleasure of seeing the scholars. 

Mr. Baily had provided bountifully for us, and there was ample 
evidence here that this was a land of plenty, to all those who exercised 
ordinary industry. 

After breakfast, Mr. Greene was obliging enough to accompany us 
to see the sugar-mills and taro-plantations, in the valley of the Wailuku. 
The sugar-manufactory is an experiment of the king, and is now under 
the superintendence of a Chinese. By some awkward mistake in 
making the agreement, his majesty's interests were entirely lost si^ht 
of, and it is said that he will lose money, although his agents have a 
prospect of considerable gain. The iron-work of the mill was imported 
from the United States, and is turned by water-power. The water 

M A U I. 243 

wheel is badly constructed : it is a breast-wheel, with great loss of 

There appears but little economy about the establishment : as an 
instance of this, instead of drying and preparing the cane for fuel, they 
use wood altogether, which is very scarce, and costs much to transport 
it. The sugar appears to be of good quality, and with proper atten- 
tion, the manufacture could no doubt be made profitable. I understood 
from the Chinese who had charge, that the sugar could be sold at four 
cents per pound, and that with a proper economy as to fuel, might be 
reduced to half that sum. 

Both the king and chiefs have a desire to encourage the arts and 
agriculture. Unfortunately, however, after they have incurred expenses, 
they are obliged to give the sole direction into the hands of those who 
have nothing but their own interests in view. The consequence is, that 
in all these undertakings the king and chiefs have found themselves 
deceived, by listening to foreigners by whom they have been defrauded. 

We now rode down the valley among the taro-patches, and over to 
the Sand-hills. In passing over them we saw some remarkable con- 
cretions, resembling large tunnels or broken pipes, which were quite 
hard, and resembled solid rock interspersed with amorphous sandstone. 
Mr. Greene, who was with us, could give me no information respecting 
their formation. Dr. Pickering met with these also, and considers 
them as mineral concretions, although they appeared to him to resem- 
ble those formed by annelidse, or like beds of sabellffi. 

On the isthmus, the sand was drifting like snow, and afforded a good 
illustration of the rapidity with which it changes its place by the effects 
of the winds. 

In the centre of the Sand-hills, we stopped on a mound of human 
bones, a perfect Golgotha. There appears to be no tradition respect- 
ing this accumulation of mortal relics. By some it is supposed to have 
been a burying-place after a battle, for the place where they were 
found was known to be a battle-ground. Bloody contests, indeed, must 
have taken place here, if we are to judge from the number of skeletons 
which are exposed. Some of these are in a state of perfect preserva- 
tion, and I regretted not being able to transport one to the ship. 

Near this place we saw several boys anxiously watching some 
object, and on getting near them, found they were employed in catch- 
ing birds. This was done by baiting small sticks, to which a string was 
tied, and the other end of the string fastened to a small stone : the bird 
swallows the stick along with the bait, and in attempting to fly off, it 
pierces his throat, and he is thus secured. 

After riding around these plains we returned to Wailuku, where we 

244 M A U I. 

partook of a sumptuous lunch, and parted under a feeling of obligation 
for the kind attentions we had received, and the tokens of remembrance 
from the scholars. We reached Lahaina before dark, after a fatiguing 

On our way I heard a rumour that one of the boats had been lost, 
which made rne anxious to get on board as soon as possible. I had been 
flattering myself that from dangers of this kind we were, at least for 
the present, exempt ; but the report proved too true. Previous to leaving 
Lahaina, I had despatched Lieutenant Budd, with Passed Midshipman 
May, in charge of two boats, and it was to one of these that the acci- 
dent occurred. Lieutenant Budd gave the following account of it. 

At ten o'clock, on the 9th of March, they left the ship, when it was 
blowing a moderate breeze, and steered for the south point of Kahoo- 
lawe. After they had proceeded some distance on their way, it fell 
calm for a short time, and then the trade-wind set in strong from the 
northward and eastward, and soon increased to a stiff gale, the sea 
rising to a dangerous height for the boats. Just after doubling the point 
of Kahoolawe, Passed Midshipman May, in the Leopard, hailed Lieu- 
tenant Budd, to report that his boat was sinking ; and four of the men 
were perceived to be baling. Lieutenant Budd pulled alongside, and 
seeing the boat was settling, ordered the anchor to be dropped. Most 
of the crew continued to bale with their hats, whilst the rest passed out 
the most important articles. A portion of the Leopard's crew, who 
could not swim, were now ordered to get into the Greyhound ; Lieu- 
tenant Budd intending to land them and return for those on the wreck. 
The men who were thus left said that the boat was drifting to sea, and 
wished to be taken off; but this would have endangered the lives of all. 
Passed Midshipman May, perceiving their unwillingness to remain, 
jumped overboard and joined them : his example encouraged them to 
do their best. Lieutenant Budd succeeded in as short a time as possible 
in landing the men and articles from his boat, and then returned. He 
found the boat sinking fast, and the officer and men supporting them- 
selves with the oars. The boat \vas now turning over and over as 
every wave struck her. Mr. May and the rest of the men were tali en 
on board, and they then returned to the shore, all much exhausted. 
Lieutenant Budd, seeing that the side of the boat had been stove in by 
a heavy sea, and the impossibility of saving or being able to repair the 
boat, left her to her fate, and took such measures as he found necessary 
for the comfort of his men. Lieutenant Budd deserves much credit 
for his presence of mind in preserving the lives of the men entrusted to 
him, as well as protecting them afterwards from unnecessary exposure. 

Kahoolawe, the island they were now on, lies to the west of the 

MAUL 245 

south end of Maui, and is fourteen miles long by five miles wide. It 
is uninhabited, except by a few poor fishermen, and is used as a place 
of exile : at this time, there was one state prisoner confined on it. 

Lieutenant Budd concluded next morning to set out in search of 
the town which he had heard one of his boat's crew, a Kanaka, say 
that he knew of. After wandering over the rugged face of this barren 
island for twenty miles, he discovered, to his great joy, from the top of 
a ridge, a cluster of huts near the water, which they soon after reached. 
They proved to be inhabited by Kenemoneha, the exile above spoken 
of, who for the crime of forgery had been condemned to spend five 
years in exile upon this island. This was effected in a singular 
manner, and the punishment of the offender will serve to show the 
mode in which the laws are carried into execution. 

The chief, Kenemoneha, treated Lieutenant Budd with great kind- 
ness, supplied him with dry clothing, and gave him some of his scanty 
fare. The village is a collection of eight huts, and an unfinished adobe 
church. The chief has three large canoes for his use. 

In passing over the island, the walking had been found very tedious ; 
for they sunk ankle-deep at each step. The whole south part is covered 
with a light soil, composed of decomposed lava; and is destitute of 
vegetation, except a few stunted shrubs. 

On the northern side of the island, there is a better soil, of a reddish 
colour, which is in places susceptible of cultivation. Many tracks of 
wild hogs were seen, but only one of the animals was met with. 

The wife of Kenemoneha resides at Lahaina. She was a great 
favourite of the king, who, notwithstanding, was determined to let the 
law take its course, being well satisfied of her husband's guilt. 

The only article produced on the island is the sweet-potato, and 
but a small quantity of these. All the inhabitants are convicts, and 
receive their food from Maui : their number at present is about fifteen. 

Besides this little cluster of convicts' huts, there are one or two 
houses on the north end, inhabited by old women. Some of the con- 
victs are allowed to visit the other islands, but not to remain. 

On hearing of the accident, Lieutenant Carr at once despatched 
provisions for the party ; which reached them the next day, and 
proved a seasonable supply. After much fatigue, Lieutenant Budd 
returned to the ship on the 15th. 

I visited, in company with some of the officers, the seminary of 
Lahainaluna, which is, as I have before said, situated on the hill behind 
the town, and about two miles distant from it. The road thither is 
partly made by the pupils of the seminary. We found the students at 
work along this road, making stone walls. Many of them were large 


246 M A U I. 

boys or young men. Their mode of working was not systematic, and 
every one appeared to be doing what he thought best : they did not 
appear to be identified with their work, but seemed more like a rabble. 
We were received by the Rev. Mr. Andrews, who was kind enough 
to show us the whole establishment. 

On our approach, we noticed an air of neglect, and particularly in 
the out-buildings. The garden also was in bad order ; indeed, nothing 
succeeds well in it, because its situation is too high for irrigation, 
which in this climate is absolutely necessary. The soil is composed 
of a red clay, which in dry weather forms a fine dust, covering 
every thing, and which the daily winds continually raise into clouds. 
These circumstances present an obstacle to one of the great objects 
of the institution, while the scarcity of water prevents the inculcation 
of habits of personal cleanliness, of which the natives stand in great 

The object of the institution is, to forward mental improvement and 
a knowledge of the useful arts, as well as to prepare suitable teachers 
for the native schools. 

This -school was established in 1831 on the principal of self-support, 
and only those who could maintain themselves, were admitted. These 
were principally adults, and mostly married persons : they even built 
their own houses, which were of adobes, covered with thatch. The 
Rev. Mr. Andrews was the first who undertook the charge; and the 
only expense to the mission was the books, &c., together with the 
salary of the superintendent. This plan continued to be acted upon 
for three years, during which time the number of scholars had risen 
to ninety. In 1834, the mission decided to increase the school, and 
to put up buildings at their own expense. The Rev. Messrs. Clark 
and Dibble were appointed to it as instructors of mathematics and 
philosophy ; they were also to be employed in translating and prepar- 
ing native books, of which none existed at the time, and which were 
to be printed at the Mission Press. 

In 1836, the character of the school was entirely changed, and the 
self-supporting system laid aside, as was also the reception of adult 
scholars, none now being admitted over twenty years of age. 

In 1837, the present edifice, consisting of a centre building, forty- 
four feet square, and two wings, fifty by twenty-six feet, were erected, 
at considerable expense, I was informed, (twelve thousand dollars,) 
and a class of thirty-six boys admitted, from the various district 
schools on the island, as boarding scholars. These are lodged in a 
number of small thatched huts, ten feet square. There are likewise 
dwellings for the teachers. It was endowed by the king and chiefs 

MAUL 247 

with a grant of five hundred acres of land ; only fifty of which, how- 
ever, were capable of being made productive, and but thirty have been 

Since 1836, when, as has been seen, the system was changed, its 
usefulness has in a great measure ceased, for the simple reason that 
the institution in its present form is not required. I look upon the 
plan as wholly impracticable, and unsuitable to the wants of the 
natives. In the form it was first established, Mr. Andrews was ex- 
tremely well adapted to its superintendence ; but when it was taken 
under the fostering care of the Board, few of whom are practical men, 
they remodelled it, still keeping it under the superintendence of one 
who, though admirably adapted for its original plan of instruction, was 
unfitted for the cares of its future operations. 

The professors who are associated with Mr. Andrews, are no doubt 
well qualified for their situations as teachers and translators, but 
naturally look more to mental improvement than to practical illustra- 
tion. The latter indeed appears to have been almost wholly abandoned, 
and instead of carpentry, smithery, and agriculture, being pursued, the 
two former have been entirely abandoned, and in order to induce the 
scholars to the latter, they give them a price for their work, which 
goes to the clothing of the individual, so that in reality this labour is 
at a higher price than would be paid for it in the United States. 

We were shown some of the engravings done by the scholars, but 
these were of a very rude and inferior description, and at the price 
paid for the work, cost more than if beautifully done by the best 
artists in the United States. No one in the establishment knows any- 
thing about engraving, and therefore it seems highly injudicious to 
have attempted to teach it. 

In all the departments of this establishment I saw nothing but ill- 
directed means, and a waste of funds that might have been avoided 
by proper forecast, and a full examination of the subject by practical 
men. The school has passed its meridian, and is now fast going to 
decay, a fact which must strike every one on a casual visit. The 
discipline of the scholars is loose and irregular ; they are their own 
rulers, and make their own laws : in this respect it may be called a 
republican school. The scholars act by committees, and without the 
knowledge or consent of their teachers, in every thing that concerns 
themselves and their apartments. As may be supposed, they are left 
to settle their own disputes, and little discipline of any kind exists. 

I had an opportunity of seeing one of the classes reciting to the Rev. 
Mr. Dibble. We happened accidentally to pass through the large hall 
or chapel, where this exercise was going on. The reverend gentle- 

248 M A U I. 

man was mounted on a platform, and the scholars oddly arranged on 
the ends of each of the long benches. A more ragged, dirty-looking 
set of fellows I have rarely laid my eyes upon in the shape of scholars, 
or as they are now termed, students of the university. Most of them 
were dressed in trousers and shirts, the latter partly within and partly 
without their waistbands. They had no shoes or handkerchiefs, and 
and as the light colour of their clothes showed spots of grease distinctly, 
they appeared dirty enough. The exercises were continued, but as 
they were in the Hawaiian language, it was impossible to judge of 
their explanations of the questions put to them : they seemed, however, 
to satisfy the tutor. 

I then went to the lower rooms and was shown the process of 
teaching; among other branches in which they were instructed was 
music. We next visited the dormitories, which, as I have stated 
above, were small separate grass-huts. The scholars sleep as they 
choose, either within or without the hut, and always in their clothes, 
which I had surmised was the case from their appearance. The 
whole struck me as being badly planned and loosely conducted : the 
buildings are much too large and expensive; consequently to keep 
them in repair, and meet the other expenses of the establishment 
without additional aid, is impossible ; and like all attempts on too large 
a scale, it must fail. 

I am well aware that the gentlemen who have the matter in charge 
are doing all that they can to meet their own wishes, and the expecta- 
tions of the community, both at home and in the other islands ; but I 
look upon their exertions as thrown away; for it requires practical 
men and artisans to instruct the natives, and some plan is essential by 
which their habits and customs can be changed. I was told here that 
their character combines idleness and unclean habits ; that they are 
deceitful, obstinate, indifferent to truth, and have no social qualities. 

Each scholar now costs the society twenty dollars per annum, 
seven dollars and fifty cents of which provides them with food; the 
remainder, twelve dollars and fifty cents is for clothing. But besides 
this, they are paid twenty-five cents per day when they are allowed to 
work, which amounts to as much more during the year. Why this 
premium has been adopted to induce them to work, I could not see; 
and I look upon it as one of the very worst features of the establish- 
ment, particularly when the scholars must see that their labour is 
frequently of no acc.ount, as when employed in building stone walls to 
enclose lands that are not worth fencing in. 

That this institution is not popular among the natives, is little to be 
wondered at. Many of them complain, as I have already said, that it 

MAUL 249 

is impossible for them to get their children there ; for to do so, they 
must be themselves devout members of the church, and first place 
their children at one of the district schools ; while it depends, after all, 
upon the selection of the missionaries, whether the boys will be 
allowed to enter. 

From this school, of late years, have been taken all the native 
teachers, and most of them are employed on the part of the govern- 
ment; it therefore becomes desirable to all to have their children 
educated in it. 

There is another circumstance which prevents and interferes with 
the proper cultivation of this establishment, namely, the want of water, 
which the native land-owners refuse to allow the use of for the lower 
part of the grounds. With a very little trouble and expense, this diffi- 
culty might be overcome ; but there is wanting the inclination, both on 
the part of the missionaries and government, to effect a change. 

It is easy to point out the defects in an establishment, but much 
more difficult to suggest a remedy. The difficulty is, perhaps, not 
easily overcome, but I will offer one or two plans, which appeared to 
me to be feasible, and calculated to give the natives a turn towards 
becoming a pastoral as well as an agricultural people. The pupils 
should be taught the care of cattle and the superintendence of flocks, 
to which pursuit the greater part of the land of these islands is well 
adapted. A sufficient inducement might be held out for exertion, by 
giving them a portion of the increase of the flocks, that would recom- 
pense them for their care, without increasing the expenses of the 
society. Above all things, in their manual labour schools the higher 
branches should not be taught before the pupils are all well grounded 
in the lower ones; for instance, I can conceive of nothing more 
absurd and useless than spending the time of both teachers and 
scholars in studying Greek, as was proposed. Fortunately for the 
students, however, they could not proceed for want of books. I would 
not be understood as throwing any blame on the missionaries : there 
are many errors committed and expenses incurred in conducting a 
mission, that ought to be looked at with much charity by those who 
are visitors, as well as by the society at home. Even a slight know- 
ledge of the situation of things will show how difficult it is for the 
Board of Missions to judge of the expenses incurred in carrying on 
their operations, and how unwise it is for the managers at home to 
control their agents, except by some general rules applicable to their 
duties. The employment of persons in whom they have confidence 
is the best and only security; and if those who are invested with 

VOL. iv. 32 

250 M A 1. 

the power should make a wrong use of it, the remedy is to remove 

Much discontent has been caused, and the usefulness of the mission- 
aries impaired, by the control which the Board of Missions exercises 
over their conduct. The restriction on the liberty of the press, and 
the extravagance complained of, is not justly chargeable to the con- 
vention ; for, constituted as the Board is, it is impossible it should be 
otherwise, and the effect naturally arises from employing an irrespon- 
sible body. I am well satisfied that harm results to the cause from 
want of full confidence being extended to those who are engaged in 
these duties. 

Lahaina being the great resort of our whalers in these islands, a 
survey was made of the roadstead. The chief reason for resorting to 
this place is, that their crews are more easily kept in order, and have 
not that temptation to visit the shore that is experienced at Honolulu ; 
besides, provisions are in greater plenty, particularly potatoes, which 
are raised in abundance on the highlands of Maui. 

Lahaina contains about three thousand inhabitants. More order reigns 
here than in any other town of the same size I have seen in Polynesia. 
This is to be attributed to the iniluence exerted by the authorities, and 
to the absence of foreigners, and their attendant grog-shops. 

To Mr. Richards, Dr. Baldwin, Mr. Andrews, and their families, 
we are much indebted for many kind attentions during our stay. 

The Rev. Mr. Baldwin is the pastor as well as physician of the 
place, and preaches both in the native church and in the seamen's 
chapel, which has been erected here by the subscriptions of the 
whaling fleet. This was nearly completed at the time of our visit, 
and is intended to accommodate about two hundred persons. 

The native church is a large building, capable of containing one 
thousand eight hundred persons, and the usual congregation is about 
one thousand two hundred. 

This district is well supplied with schools, containing between eight 
and nine hundred scholars. Some of these are under the superinten- 
dence of David Maro, the native teacher, and author of several tracts 
before spoken of. 

The district of Wailuku is composed of valley and upland. The 
soil in the former is extremely rich and well watered; the uplnml, 
also, produces good crops when sufficient moisture can be had. P<V;I- 
toes, corn, sugar-cane, and sweet-potatoes, are the chief product 
he windward side of the island. 

In some places there are extensive woods, the trees in which are of 

MAUL 251 

large size; but the timber is of little value, being either soft and 
spongy, or hard and difficult to work. Of the former kinds the 
natives make their canoes. 

The district of Kula, on East Maui, although extremely rough and 
rocky, has a loamy, rich, and productive soil: it produces the finest 
Irish potatoes, turnips, corn, melons, and wheat. The latter, of an ex- 
cellent quality, is found growing wild. It was introduced about twenty 
years before our visit, planted, and not the least attention paid to it ; 
instead, however, of " running out," it has increased. At Malaca 
Bay there is good anchorage for vessels of any size, and a fine 

The isthmus is too dry to be fit for cultivation : it is in extent about 
twenty by fifteen miles. During nine months of the year it is a fine 
grazing country, and feeds large herds of cattle, that are mostly owned 
by foreigners. 

The productions on Maui are the same as those of the other islands: 
to these may be added a few fruits, as grapes, &c., but these are not 
raised in large quantities. 

In industry and enterprise, the natives of this island have made but 
slow progress, though there is abundant evidence that they possess 
both, if properly developed. This is shown in their attempts at culti- 

The king, in order to foster a spirit of enterprise, proposed to a 
company of about fifty natives, that each should cultivate a small lot 
of land, of from one to two acres, with sugar-cane ; and that when 
ripe he would manufacture it into sugar and molasses for one-half, and 
would, besides, relieve them from all taxation. It was considered that 
four-tenths of the sugar would pay for its manufacture, and that two- 
tenths should be equivalent to the taxes. Sixty or seventy acres were 
planted. The produce was found to be one and a half tons to the 
acre, besides some molasses. 

Both at Wailuku and at Hamakualoa, the natives have shown much 
perseverance and enterprise in erecting stone churches. These are 
built by native workmen, and their dimensions are one hundred feet in 
length, by fifty feet in width. For the construction of that at Hama- 
kualoa, they were obliged to bring the stones, lime, and sand, on their 
backs, to the place of building. The lime and sand were brought 
from a distance of two or three miles, and the timber was dragged 
from four to six miles. In putting on the roof, it fell in twice, after 
nearly all the timbers were up, and broke them to pieces ; but they 
persevered until they had completed the edifice, which will contain 

252 MAUL 

about one thousand people. The whole amount of money laid out 
was sixteen dollars ! At Wailuku the building-stone used was vesicu- 
lar lava. 

The following may give some idea of the duties of a missionary at 
these islands. Their labours on the Sabbath are, a sermon at sunrise^ 
Sabbath-school at eight o'clock, sermon again at eleven o'clock, Bible- 
class at one, and lecture at four. On week-days, going to adjacent 
villages, lectures, schools, and visiting the poor and needy, besides 
acting as physician for a whole district, which alone is a work of no 
trifling labour. 

In Wailuku, the population is thought to be decreasing at the rate 
of about one hundred and thirty annually, but no adequate causes are 
assigned for this diminution. The climate of Maui is healthy, and no 
diseases prevail. Infanticide may be said not to exist. In speaking 
with Mr. Richards upon this subject, he mentioned to me that there 
had undoubtedly been very erroneous computations prior to the last 
census of 1840 ; and a case had come to his knowledge in one district, 
in which it appeared that the deaths had been registered, but not the 
births : in this case, if the births had been noted, it would have led to a 
directly contrary conclusion ; for, instead of showing three per cent, 
decrease, it would have given that amount of increase. 

I have before stated, that Messrs. Pickering, Drayton, and Bracken- 
ridge were ordered to visit Maui. They embarked on board the native 
schooner Kahalia, and with them went Dr. Judd. They had a long 
and tedious passage, and instead of reaching Maui in a few hours, as 
they had expected, they were several days, owing to a strong south- 
west gale blowing. By this they were obliged to take shelter undei 
the lee on the north side of Maui, where Dr. Judd and Mr. Drayton 
landed, for the purpose of passing over land to Lahaina. 

The north coast of East Maui is a succession of deep ravines, 
which gradually diminish in breadth as they ascend, and are finally 
lost on the flanks of the mountains: travelling along the coast, in 
consequence, becomes almost impossible. Cascades are seen falling 
in these ravines several hundred feet in height, having little volume of 
water, however. 

The face of Mauna Haleakala is somewhat like that of Mauna Kea: 
it is destitute of trees to the height of about two thousand feet ; then 
succeeds a belt of forest, to the height of six thousand feet, and again, 
the summit, which is cleft by a deep gorge, is bare. 

During their stay under the lee of the island, the king's schooner 
sought refuge there also, having been driven from the roads of Lahaina 

MAUL 253 

where it is impossible to lie during the prevalence of southwest gales, 
as vessels are then exposed both to the sea and wind. 

The party who landed, and the schooner, arrived about the same 
time at Lahaina, where our gentlemen were very kindly received by 
the king and missionaries. They forthwith made preparations for a 
tour to East Maui. The Rev. Mr. Andrews, his son, and four students 
of the seminary, joined the party, together with six Kanakas to carry 
their food. The Kanakas were engaged at twenty-five cents a day, 
and twenty-five cents more was allowed for their food. The party 
first passed to Wailuku, where it was further increased by the accession 
of Mr. Baily. 

In the evening they reached the sugar plantation of Messrs. Lane 
and Minor, which they found one thousand six hundred and ninety- 
two feet above the level of the sea. These are two very respectable 
white men, who have married native wives. They are natives of 
Boston, and have brought their Yankee enterprise with them. Here 
all the party were kindly received. The plantation of these gentlemen 
is of some extent, and although the cane grows more slowly here, it 
makes better sugar than that on the low grounds, which is said to be 
owing to the former not blossoming. The houses are partly of native 
construction, and seem well adapted for their uses. The sugar-mill is 
one of the largest on the island. 

Crops of Irish potatoes are very productive here ; and corn is abun- 
dant a thousand feet higher up the mountain. 

The next day, the party set out at an early hour, in hopes of reach- 
ing the summit, but it began to rain violently, in consequence of which 
they took shelter in a large cave, at an altitude of eight thousand and 
ninety feet. Here many interesting plants were found, among which 
were two species of Pelargonium, one with dark crimson, the other 
with lilac flowers ; the Argyroziphium began to disappear as they as- 
cended, and its place was taken up by the silky species, which is only 
found at high altitudes. From the cave to the summit they found 
shrubby plants, consisting of Epacris, Vaccinium, Edwardsia, Compo- 
site, and various rubiaceous plants. 

On their arrival at the edge of the crater, on the summit, the clouds 
were driving with great velocity through it, and completely concealed 
its extent. The height, as ascertained by the barometer, was ten 
thousand two hundred feet. The driving of the sleet before the strong 
gale soon affected the missionaries and native students, the latter of 
whom for the first time, felt the effects of cold. The limit-line of 
woods was ascertained to be at six thousand five hundred feet, 

254 M A U I. 

Some sandalwood bushes were noticed about five hundred feet above 
the cave. Above the cave the ground assumed a more stony appear- 
ance, and the rock became now and then more visible, which had not 
before been the case. Where the rock was exposed it was found to 
be lava more or less vesicular, but no regular stream was observed. 
The surface of the lava appeared to be more thickly covered with 
earth than that of Mauna Kea, and consequently a greater proportion 
of soil existed, as well as a thick coating of gravel. Near the summit, 
bullock-tracks were observed, and likewise those of wild dogs, but no 
other animals were seen except a few goats. 

The crater of Haleakala, if so it may be called, is a deep gorge, 
open at the north and east, forming a kind of elbow : the bottom of it, 
as ascertained by the barometer, was two thousand seven hundred and 
eighty-three feet below the summit peak, and two thousand and ninety- 
three feet below the wall. Although its sides are steep, yet a descent 
is practicable at almost any part of it. The inside of the crater was 
entirely bare of vegetation, and from its bottom arose some large hills 
of scoria and sand : some of the latter are of an ochre-red colour at 
the summit, with small craters in the centre. All bore the appearance 
of volcanic action, but the natives have no tradition of an erup- 
tion. It was said, however, that in former times the dread goddess 
Pele had her habitation here, but was driven out by the sea, and then 
took up her abode on Hawaii, where she has ever since remained. 
Can this legend refer to a time when the volcanoes of Maui were in 
activity \ 

The gravel that occurred on the top was composed of small angular 
pieces of cellular lava, resembling comminuted mineral coal. The 
rock was of the same character as that seen below, containing irregular 
cavities rather than vesicles. Sometimes grains of chrysolite and horn- 
blende were disseminated. In some spots the rock was observed to be 
compact, and had the appearance of argillite or slate : this variety 
occurred here chiefly in blocks, but was also seen in situ. It affords 
the whetstones of the natives, and marks were seen which they had 
left in procuring them. 

Of the origin of the name Mauna Haleakala, or the House of the 
Sun, I could not obtain any information. Some of the residents thought 
it might be derived from the sun rising from over it to the people of 
West Maui, which it does at some seasons of the year. 

Having passed the night at the cave, Mr. Daily and young Andrews 
preferred returning to the coast, rather than longer to endure the cold 
and stormy weather on the mountain. 

M A U I. 255 

Our gentlemen made excursions to the crater, and descended into it. 
The break to the north appears to have been occasioned by the violence 
of volcanic action within. There does not appear any true lava stream 
on the north, but there is a cleft or valley which has a steep descent : 
here the soil was found to be of a spongy nature, and many interesting 
plants were found, among the most remarkable of which was the 
arborescent Geranium. 

The floor of the crater, in the north branch, is extremely rough and 
about two miles wide at the apex, which extends to the sea. In the 
ravines there is much compact argillaceous rock, similar to what had 
been observed on Mauna Kea, retaining, like it, pools of water. The 
rock, in general, was much less absorbent than on the mountains of 

Mr. Drayton made an accurate drawing or plan of the crater, the 
distances on which are estimated, but the many cross bearings serve 
to make its relative proportions correct. Perhaps the best idea that 
can be given of the size of this cavity, is by the time requisite to make 
a descent into it being one hour, although the depth is only two thou- 
sand feet. The distance from the middle to either opening was up- 
wards of five miles ; that to the eastward was filled with a line of hills 
of scoria, some of them five or six hundred feet high ; under them was 
lying a lava stream, that, to appearance, was nearly horizontal, so 
gradual was its fall. The eastern opening takes a short turn to the 
southeast, and then descends rapidly to the coast. 

At the bottom were found beds of hard gravel, and among it what 
appeared to be carbonate of lime, and detached black crystals like 
augite, but chrysolite was absent. 

From the summit of the mountain the direction of the lava stream 
could be perceived, appearing, as it approached the sea, to assume 
more the shape of a delta. 

From the summit the whole cleft or crater is seen, and could be 
traced from the highest point between the two coasts, flowing both to 
the northward and eastward. Volcanic action seems also to have 
occurred on the southwest side, for a line of scoria hills extends all the 
way down the mountain, and a lava stream is said to have burst forth 
about a century ago, which still retains its freshness. The scoria hills 
on the top very much resemble those of Mauna Kea, but the mountain 
itself appears wholly unlike either of the two in Hawaii, and sinks 
into insignificance when compared with them. 

Although I have mentioned lava streams on this mountain, yet they 
are not to be understood as composed of true lava, as on Mauna Loa ; 

256 MAUL 

none of the latter were seen except that spoken of on the southwest 
side, and none other is believed to exist. No pumice or capillary 
glass was at any time seen, nor are they known to exist on this island. 
On the wall of the crater, in places, the compass was so much affected 
by local attraction as to become useless. 

Near the summit is a small cave, where they observed the silk- worm 
eggs of Mr. Richards, which were kept here in order to prevent them 
from hatching at an improper season. The thermometer in the cave 
stood at 44 ; the temperature at the highest point was 36, and in the 
crater 71. After three days' stay, the party returned to the establish- 
ment of Messrs. Lane and Minor, and thence to Wailuku. They 
were much gratified with their tour. 

On their return to Lahaina, Dr. Pickering and Mr. Brackenridge 
took the route through the Wailuku Pass, as it is called, which with 
its rocky peaks shooting upwards several hundred feet directly above 
them, reminded them of the deep gorges of Madeira. Some fine 
plants were collected, and unexpectedly among the most conspicuous 
was a woody Lobelia, which gave its character to the vegetation. 
The route did not prove so much shorter as was anticipated, owing to 
the oblique direction of the valley. 

It may now perhaps be as well to say a few words respecting the 
operation of foreign opinions upon the natives, who are more prone to 
take knowledge and advice from the books that are circulated among 
them, than strangers are inclined to believe. Their gambling propen- 
sities appear to have been very difficult to overcome; yet, from the 
simple sentence "Do not gamble" having been printed in the first 
books circulated among them, that expression has become almost 
proverbial, and many have in consequence been restrained from in- 
dulging in gaming to excess, while some have abandoned the practice 

From the inquiries I made on the subject of their vices, I am 
satisfied that these have been much overrated by both residents and 
missionaries, and I fully believe that these natives are as susceptible 
of correct impressions as any other people. 

They appeared to me to be wanting in that national pride which was 
found a predominant trait in the groups we had previously visited. 
They speak less of their country than other Polynesians; but Mr. 
Richards and Dr. Judd both assured me that they felt a certain degree 
of pride in their respective islands. As an instance of this, it was 
stated to me that the government proposing to make the island ot 
Kahoolawe a place for convicts, wished to induce the people of the 

MAUL 257 


island to quit it ; but no persuasion could prevail on them to do so ; 
and it is said that this feeling has existed to such an extent there, that 
the young women have refused to marry, unless under a pledge that 
they shall not be required to remove. The people of Hawaii consider 
themselves superior to those of the other islands ; next to them rank 
the natives of Maui and Oahu, while Kauai is looked upon as the most 
inferior. It was likewise mentioned that some individuals have come 
forward to ask to exchange plots that had been assigned to them, for 
those on which their fathers had resided, or where they were born. 

I was much amused to hear that when one of the teachers of the 
seminary gave out to the class as a theme, " Whether it was right for 
parents to give away their children," all belonging to it took the affir- 
mative side ! It is not to be supposed that their reasons were very 
strong, but it was said the principal one urged was the difficulty of 
travelling with them, and procuring food ; this practice having pre- 
vailed from time immemorial, they no doubt endeavoured to find 
reasons to justify it. 

In the opinion of a native, the most distant relationship or con- 
nexion, justifies him in calling on and receiving entertainment. They 
not only consider that they have a right to partake of the hospitality, 
but speak of it as a great convenience ; so that in choosing a wife or 
husband, one who has many relations is a more desirable match on 
this account than one who has few. This custom also causes more 
intercourse between the islands than would otherwise take place, and 
their small vessels seldom pass from one to the other, without being 
well filled with passengers. 

Among the visits I paid at Lahaina, was one to the regent Kekau- 
luohi, who receives visitors during certain hours of the day. She lives 
in a grass-hut near the water, and has several chiefs in attendance on 
her: she appears to be a good-natured and contented person, and has 
adopted some foreign customs in her way of living. She is not spoken 
of as being equal to her sister, Kaahumanu or Kinau. 

It has been mentioned, that on our passage from Hilo we had not 
found the shoal said to exist off Kahoolawe. Receiving authentic 
information that it really existed, I determined to send two boats, 
under the command of Lieutenant Budd and Passed Midshipman 
May, to seek for and examine it. The king, learning my intentions, 
volunteered to send his yacht along with them. The yacht and boats 
set out on this expedition, on the 17th of March, with a pilot who 
knew the ground. 

On the same day we took leave of our kind friends, and at noon got 
VOL. iv. wa 33 

258 M A U I. 

under way and stood for Kahoolawe, to pick up the boats under Lieu- 
tenant Budd. Owing to the light wind, we did not succeed in reach- 
ing the point till late, where we found the king's schooner and the two 
boats about to enter upon the examination. We, therefore, lowered 
all the boats and sent them to search for the shoal. It was soon found, 
and proved to be much nearer the point of the island than was antici- 
pated. It lies a mile and a half off the point, and has one and a half 
fathoms of water on it. We fixed bearings, by noting which, it may 
be avoided. Vessels may pass within two miles of the point with 
safety ; but as it is difficult to estimate the distance, it will be better to 
pass the point at three miles distance, as nothing is lost by so doing. 
It is remarkable, that this is the only shoal around the Hawaiian 
Islands that is hidden from the navigator ; and even this is situated so 
near the land that it can scarcely be deemed dangerous. 

At nine o'clock, we took up the boats and bore away for Oahu. 
Passing to the southward of Lanai, though at the distance of twenty 
miles, we felt the effects of its highlands upon the winds. 

Lanai is a dome-shaped island, and appears to have been frequently 
rent, large fissures being apparent on its sides. It is exclusively of 
volcanic formation. 

The fish of these islands are numerous ; and to Mr. Richards and 
Dr. Baldwin, this department of the natural history of the Expedition 
is much indebted. Dr. Pickering remarks, that the natives appear to 
be much better acquainted with the fish of their waters, than are the 
inhabitants of any civilized port we have visited. A number of new 
species were obtained ; for which I refer to the report on the ichthy- 
ology of the cruise. 

At Lahaina, bathing and frolicking in the surf are more practised 
than in any other place in these islands. The inhabitants take great 
delight in it ; and it is said that the king himself is extremely fond 
of it. 

The tide at Lahaina is irregular, being somewhat dependent on the 
winds: it runs to the northwest generally sixteen hours out of the 

During our stay here on the 14th, a slight shock of an earthquake 
was experienced. 

After passing Lanai, I hauled up for Molokai, intending, as the day 
was far advanced, to lie under the lee of that island for the night. 
Molokai is about forty miles long and nine miles in width. One-third 
of the island, towards the western end, is a barren waste, not suscepti- 
ble of cultivation, except in the rainy season; it has in consequence 

MAUL 259 

few inhabitants, who are engaged mostly in fishing. The eastern two- 
thirds are almost one entire mountain, rising gradually from the south, 
until it attains an elevation of two thousand five hundred ; while on the 
north, it is almost perpendicular. 

On the south side, it has a narrow strip of land, not exceeding one- 
fourth of a mile in width, the soil of which is very rich, and which 
contains the greater part of the population. Owing to the want of 
moisture, however, few plants will thrive even here ; resort is therefore 
had to the uplands, which are found to be susceptible of the highest 
degree of cultivation. 

The amount of arable land, or that susceptible of cultivation, is 
believed by the missionaries to be one-fourth ; but I should be inclined 
to reduce it to one-eighth, from the report of others and my own 
observations. Only about one-tenth of this is cultivated. 

The population of the island was reported as five thousand, in 1840 ; 
eight years prior, in 1832, it was six thousand: during this time, five 
hundred marriages took place. The data has shown, that the births 
much exceed the deaths ; and the decrease is attributed to emigration, 
which has been going on for some time. The inhabitants are all poor, 
and their pastor, the Rev. Mr. Hitchcock, asserts, that there are not 
ten individuals on the island who have comfortable clothing and suffi- 
cient food ; and he adds, that there has been no improvement in their 
dwellings for the last ten years. 

The schools on this island are little more than a name ; for they have 
neither regular teachers nor school-houses. One thousand scholars are 
said to be embodied in them. 

The island has been occupied as a missionary station since 1832, 
and the church contains about three hundred members. 

Some efforts are making to introduce the cultivation of cotton and 
sugar. All other articles are in want of a market ; and the distance of 
Lahaina (about eighteen miles) is found too great, and the voyage 
thither too uncertain, to derive benefit from it. 

There are several small harbours within the reef, on the south side, 
at Kaluaaha, the missionary station, which are capable of affording 
shelter for vessels of from sixty to eighty tons. 

The formation of Molokai is similar to that of the other islands. 
Coral rock was reported to exist on one of the high hills. Some of the 
same was found on the south side of Maui, at a considerable elevation, 
specimens of which were presented to the Expedition. 

On the 18th, we anchored off Honolulu, at an early hour, although 
too late to enter. The appearance of the island was much more fertile, 



now that the winter had passed. There being no letters from home, 
was a disappointment to us all. We were again warmly welcomed 
by our friends and countrymen. 

On the 19th, we went in and anchored in the outer harbour. Until 
the 23d, we were employed getting off our stores, &c., and on the latter 
day I was gratified with the arrival of the Porpoise, and was much 
pleased to find them all well. 










THE disposition that was intended to be made of the Porpoise during 
the winter months, has been mentioned in a preceding chapter; an 
account of her proceedings in the prosecution of the duties assigned to 
her, will now be given. 

On the 15th of November, as has been before stated, she left Oahu. 
In addition to her crew, a number of Kanakas were shipped for the 
purpose of being employed, under the direction of an officer, on one 
of the coral islands, to bore through the coral rock. 

The first shoal searched for was that of Manuel Rodriguez : its sup- 
posed locality, in longitude 153 54' W., and latitude 10 58' N., was 
passed over, and no indications whatever of it were seen. 

All the Kanakas became wofully sea-sick, and were lying about the 
deck for several days, heedless of every thing ; after being out several 
days, and the sea becoming smooth, they recruited. 

On the 22d they had reached latitude 9 13' N., when they expe- 
rienced heavy rains, with frequent and vivid lightning, and constant 
gusts of wind. The next and following days they saw many birds, 
indicating a near approach to land. The easterly current was expe- 
rienced between the latitude of 5 and 8 N., inclining more to the 
northward of east than farther west. On the 1st of December they 
passed to the eastward of Walker's Island. On the 3d, they crossed 
the line, in longitude 149 36' W. ; and on the 4th, the Magnetic 
Equator, in latitude 2 S., and longitude 149 10' W. They now had 
the wind from the east, which was light, with calms. 

On the llth, they made the island of Manhii, of the Paumotu 
Group, and shortly after, that of Ahii, or Peacock Island : the same 



day they spoke the whale-ship Nassau, of New Bedford, bound to 

On the 13th, they made the Rurick Chain. 

On the 15th they reached Aratica, or Carlshoff Island, on which 
Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold had determined to land the party 
intended to experiment in boring, consisting of fifteen men, under 
Lieutenant Johnson, among whom were nine Kanakas and three sea- 
men, the armourer with his forge, and a carpenter. 

They had much rain with frequent squalls. Until they reached the 
latitude of 8 N., the wind prevailed from east-northeast ; then from 
south to east, with frequent intermissions of calms ; and from the 
parallel of 5 N. to 8 S., northeast winds were experienced ; to the 
southward of the latter parallel, northwest and north winds. Lieu- 
tenant Johnson, agreeably to my orders, was put in charge of the 
party to conduct the experiments.* 

By the 18th, they had succeeded in completing all the arrangements, 
when the brig left them in successful operation, to pursue her cruise 
for thirty or forty days to the windward part of the group. 

On the 19th, they made Vincennes and Raraka Islands. 

On the 20th, they made Saken Island, which proved low, with but a 
few trees on it : the greater part of the island is a reef. 

The next day they were up with the three small islands to the south- 
ward of Saken, which they had been directed to look for and survey. 
Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold found and surveyed them, and de- 
signated the cluster as the Sea-Gull Group ; while to the three islands 
he gave the names of Passed Midshipman Reid and Bacon, and 
Quarter-Master Clute. Reid Island proved to be inhabited, and the 
brig was boarded from it by two canoes. These contained four 
natives, besides a toothless old man calling himself a missionary, who 
readily consented to remain for the night on board : he- was quite 
tastefully and well covered with tattooing, in chequered marks, as 
described on our former visit to this group. The others were not 
tattooed. The Tahitians on board had no difficulty in understanding 

The canoes were small and wretched, being only about five feet 
long and two feet wide. The account these people gave of them- 
selves was, that they had been residing on the island about a year, 
and had been sent there in a Tahitian schooner, by order of the 
Queen of Tahiti, for the purpose of raising food or productions useful 
to man. 

* For orders, sec Appendix X. 


On the 22d, several of the officers visited the island. Its population 
consisted of about twenty-five men, women, and children, among whom 
was the daughter of the old chief, considered by our officers as a very 
beautiful girl, wkh fine figure, expressive countenance, and long silky 
hair : she was sprightly, but I regret to say, was covered with vermin. 
The children were fat and chubby. 

Dip and intensity observations were made here, and observations 
on shore for time and variation. 

The village consisted of about six huts, which were extremely filthy 
and smelt more like fish-houses than human habitations. All the 
inhabitants seemed contented on this small and barren isle, which they 
called Tuinaki, and which is, in every point of view, one of the most 
uninteresting of the group. The poor creatures, in obedience to their 
directions, were setting out cocoa-nut plantations, which were seen 
growing all over the island : the trees were planted in pits about three 
feet deep, in order to afford them moisture, and to protect them from 
the winds. A small spring supplied the inhabitants with water. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, having finished all the necessary 
observations, proceeded, on the 23d, in search of some islands to the 
eastward. On the 26th they made the island of Raroia, or Barclay de 
Tolly, and passed close to it. The position assigned to it on the charts 
proved to be correct. 

On the 27th, they made Takurea, or Wolconsky, with Raroia in 
sight to the southward : there is a passage between them seven miles 
wide. The former, Wolconsky, is of an oblong shape, ten miles in 
circumference : its north end is high and thickly wooded with cocoa- 
nut groves and other trees : its eastern boundary is partly a submerged 
reef. There is no opening to its lagoon. It was found to be incor- 
rectly placed on the charts. 

On the 29th, one of the Sandwich Islanders died of a severe attack 
of dysentery, and in the afternoon his body was committed to the deep 
with the usual funeral ceremonies. 

The search after Camboy's and Merril Islands proved unsuccessful. 
The position assigned to them, longitude 141 W., latitude 15 13' S. 
having been cruised over without any appearance whatever of land. 

On the 5th of January, they passed near Taweree, or Resolution 
Island, but found there was too much surf to land upon it. There were 
about twenty inhabitants, who, on the approach of the brig, came 
running to the beach with cocoa-nuts to barter. They appeared to be 
stout men, and were thought to resemble the natives seen at Clermont 
de Tonnerre. 

Taweree consists of two small isles, together about four miles in 
VOL. iv. x 34 


circumference: it has three clumps of cocoa-nut trees upon it, but of 
its south and west sides the greater portion is a bare reef. After sur- 
veying it, they bore up for the two groups, and the same afternoon 
passed through the channel between them, which is a hiile wide, with 
no soundings. The southern island was surveyed : it has a bare reef 
on its southeast and west sides, with a cocoa-nut grove on the south 
end. No entrance exists to the lagoon, and no natives were seen. The 
southern portion of the northern isle is a bare reef, with some high 
clumps of trees on the eastern side. 

On the 6th, Nukutipipi or Margaret's Island was made. It proved to 
be a small round lagoon island, two miles in circumference, high and 
well wooded on the north side, with a flat submerged reef on the south- 
east and east sides. After completing the observations, they stood for 
Teku or the Four Crowns of Quiros, the island to the westward : it has 
now five clumps of trees. It had no opening to its lagoon, nor could 
a landing be effected. No traces of inhabitants were seen on either of 
the islands. 

On the 10th, Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold made what they 
supposed to be the island of Archangel, but very much out of place. 
It is a small lagoon island, of oblong shape, lying northwest and south- 
east ; wooded on the northeast and east, with a stunted growth of trees. 
No cocoa-nut trees were seen, and the eastern portion of the trees 
appeared as if burnt. A reef extends off the northwest and south- 
west sides, with a heavy surf, and there is a submerged reef on the 
south and west sides. No opening exists, and a landing cannot be 
effected without imminent danger to the boats. Its native name is 

The supposed location of Archangel was then searched for, but no 
signs of land found. Turnbull Island was also looked for without 

On the 12th, they made the island of San Pablo, in latitude 19 56' 
S., longitude 145 W. This island is higher than those just mentioned : 
it has several cocoa-nut groves, and natives were seen on the island. 
No opening was observed into its lagoon. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold now lay-to, for the purpose of 
communicating with the natives the next day. In the morning early, 
several of them were seen fishing, and others on the beach, who fled 
at the approach of the brig ; but on being hailed by one of the natives 
on board, they came from their hiding-places, bringing down cocoa- 
nuts, and showing a disposition to communicate. Lieutenant-Com- 
mandant Ringgold went towards the shore in his boat, with some 
presents: on the beach he found three men, with five women and a 


number of children. An old and very savage-looking chief made 
signs for them not to land, threatening them with spears if this was 
attempted. Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold threw them some pre- 
sents, and received in return a few cocoa-nuts and two large fish, the 
smallest of which measured five feet two inches in length, and its 
greatest circumference was four feet four inches. These proved to be 
excellent food. They were remarkable for their splendid colour, the 
great size of the canine teeth in each jaw, and a large protuberance 
over the eyes ; the head was without scales, the body being covered 
with large circular plates, over which the epidermis was very thick 
and of a rich blue colour, with regular concentric stripes of yellowish 
white ; the fins and tails were striped with straight lines of alternate 
blue and yellow; the lips were fleshy, and the jaws strong and bony. 

The men were of the dark-skinned race, resembling the Feejeeans, 
of fine form, and crispy hair, with crowns of matting on their heads : 
the old man had a silvery beard. They would not permit our people 
to land, and on an attempt being made by a Sandwich Islander, they 
stood prepared to spear him. Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, 
wishing to avoid collision, ordered him to return. 

After searching around this locality for other islands, the Porpoise 
steered to the northward, for the island of Aratica (CarlshofF). On the 
15th they made the island of Tahanea: its south end is a bare reef, but 
there are trees on the east and west sides. Fires were seen after dark 
on the island. This, like all the other islands, has small islets around 
it, connected by low coral reefs, over which the sea in places washes. 

Passing in sight of Saken, Raraka, and Taiara, they made Aratica 
on the 18th, where they found the party all well, and at once began to 
embark them, which was completed on the 19th. The Porpoise then 
bore away for Tahiti, two hundred and fifty miles distant, which they 
made on the 21st, and the same day they anchored in Matavai Bay. 

At the time the brig left him, Lieutenant Johnson had succeeded in 
making a beginning with the apparatus. Considering the novelty of 
the business, and that all were unacquainted with the uses of the dif- 
ferent parts of the machinery, I was aware of the difficulty of the task 
that would be imposed upon the officer who directed the operation. I 
had therefore designated Lieutenant Johnson for this business, who, on 
account of his ingenuity, perseverance, and mechanical contrivance, 
was considered by me as most suitable for this duty. The under- 
taking proved fully as laborious as I had anticipated, and Lieutenant 
Johnson's exertions were worthy of better success. The principal 
difficulties he had to encounter were the looseness of the sand, and the 
falling in of the coral stones. Every means were devised to overcome 


these impediments, but in the attempts the pipes became choked, broke, 
and were thrown out of the perpendicular. When the impediments in 
one place were found to be too great to be overcome, it was abandoned, 
and the work begun anew. The greatest depth to which he succeeded 
in reaching was twenty-one feet: ten to eleven feet were generally 
accomplished without much difficulty; but after that depth was 
arrived at, they frequently did not succeed in getting down beyond 
one foot per day. 

The coral shelf, composed of conglomerates and compact coral rock, 
seems to have afforded an impediment to further progress. After the 
breaking of pipes and augers, and the occurrence of various other 
accidents, principally from the impossibility of maintaining a perpen- 
dicular, Lieutenant Johnson began from his acquired experience to 
hope for success a day or two previous to the arrival of the brig, 
when the whole was abandoned by order of Lieutenant-Commandant 
Ringgold, and every thing embarked. I am well satisfied that there 
is no insuperable difficulty in boring into coral islands; but in the 
present case the season of the year was somewhat against them, as it 
caused them to encounter much more water in the soil than they would 
oiherwise have met with. The proper season for such an attempt would 
be the dry one. Much rain fell during their stay ; and although no 
serious sickness occurred, yet many felt unwell. 

To the Geological Report I must leave the details of the boring. 
Agreeably to my instructions, a specimen of each foot reached was 

These experiments turned out very much as I anticipated, viz : that 
we should find but little coral sand, and an occasional stratum of coral 
rock. Since my return, I have seen the results of a similar experi- 
ment made by Captain Belcher, on another island, (Hau or Bow 
Island,) in the same group. They are identical with ours. 

Before I close the subject of coral islands, I cannot refrain from 
making a few remarks, derived from my own observations while I 
was engaged among them. My opportunities have been numerous, 
and I have had every facility for viewing to advantage, not only those 
exclusively of coral formation, but also the reefs that surround the 
high volcanic islands, which afford the most safe and convenient 
harbours of the Pacific. 

After much inquiry and close examination, I was unable to believe 
that these great formations are or can possibly be the work of zoo- 
phytes ; and the arguments by which it is endeavoured to maintain 
this theory, appear to me to be inconsistent with the facts. I cannot 
but view the labours of these animals as wholly inadequate to produce 


the effects which I observed, and I was satisfied that the very appear- 
ance of the reefs was sufficient to contradict any such impression. 
The ingenious theory of Darwin, which has of late been promulgated, 
and which holds that an equal subsidence and growth are taking place, 
is alike at variance with the configuration, extent, and general con- 
struction of the reefs. 

In all the reefs and islands of coral that I have examined, there are 
unequivocal signs that they are undergoing dissolution. Thus, it will 
be recollected, that in the first volume of this narrative, I gave various 
sketches of coral blocks now existing on the top of reefs, and also 
spoke of the various shelves, soundings, and longitudinal cracks that I 
had observed. All these phenomena have been since those first obser- 
vations repeatedly met with. To account for the position of these 
blocks, it has been assumed that they had been thrown up by the sea ; 
but their positions, weight, and situation, are such as to contradict 
such an idea. They are found in many cases standing erect on their 
smaller ends, and have evidently formed an upper shelf, of which they 
are now the sole remain^. In every observed instance, they were at 
some distance from the outer edge of the reef on which they stand, 
and they were also seen covered with debris of the coral, that has 
been mentioned as forming the highest portion of the islands. It 
would be utterly impossible for any sea to toss so great a weight to 
such a distance ; and if such masses were even broken off from a reef 
by the action of water, they would undoubtedly have obeyed the laws 
of gravity, and descended to the unfathomable depths beneath them. 

The low coral islands, as far as they have been investigated, both 
by boring and sounding, have shown a foundation of sand, or what 
becomes so on being broken up. 

The elevated coral islands which we have examined, exhibit a 
formation of conglomerate, composed of compact coral and dead 
shells, interspersed with various kinds of corals, which have evidently 
been deposited after life has become extinct. A particular instance of 
this was seen at the island of Metia, and the same formation was also 
observed at Oahu. 

The abrading effects of the sea on all the islands and reefs, was 
evident, for they exhibited throughout a worn surface. Some living 
corals are indeed found at the surface, but a few inches beneath it the 
reef is invariably a collection of loose materials, and shows no regular 
coralline structure, as would have been the case if it had been the 
work of the lithophyte. 

All the coral islands lie within an ocean subject to the effects of 
volcanic action, and we have no reason to doubt that they would be 



as liable to be upheaved and depressed by it as those of unquestion- 
able igneous origin. With so great and powerful an agent at hand, it 
seems to me there is no necessity for resorting to a cause inadequate 
of itself, and at variance with the facts. It seems almost absurd to 
suppose that these immense reefs should have been raised by the exer- 
tions of a minute animal, and positively so to explain the peculiar 
mode of construction by which reefs of an annular shape are formed, 
when in nine cases out of ten they are of other figures. 

Those who will examine the charts of the Pacific Ocean, and view 
the relations which the coral islands bear to one another, as well as 
the extent of ocean through which they are spread in groups, will 
entertain but little doubt that many of them which are now separated 
have at some remote period been joined, and formed extensive tracts 
of land. They must also be inclined to believe that their alteration 
and dismemberment have been brought about by the same causes that 
affect other lands. If this be the case, there would be no difficulty 
in accounting for the lagoons, as they now present themselves. Be- 
fore I reached the coral islands, I had derived an impression, from the 
attempts to explain the manner of their formation, that all the reefs 
would be found level with the water, and have a uniform surface ; but 
so far from this being the case, they are all irregular and much rup- 
tured, some wholly above the water, others awash, and some again 
altogether submerged, having various depths of water over them. 

As the coral islands have sand and limestone for their base, it would 
appear possible to account for the formation of the lagoons by sup- 
posing that, after the several portions of the pre-existing continent 
were separated from each other, the outer edge or line of coral, une- 
qually worn by the sea, had become more compact in some cases than 
in others. Thus, while the border of the island resisted in one place, 
it might be torn asunder in others, and through the washing influx 
and efflux of the sea, strata underlying the centre might be carried 
off into the deep sea in the shape of sand and mud, or in solution. 
The centre, thus undermined, from want of support would cave in, 
and form the inverted cone or tunnel-shaped lagoon, generally found 
in the centre of these islands, surrounded by an outer rim, variable in 
width and elevation. 

Actual observation proves that the reefs and islands are undergoing 
dissolution, for at many points where former navigators have laid 
down shoals of coral, none now exist. One reef, in particular, noticeu 
by those who visited Tahiti ten years before we did, was found by 
Captain Belcher, of H. B. M. ship Sulphur, to exist no longer. This 
officer states that he visited and surveyed the place where it is laid 


down on previous charts, and that it was not to be found. In speaking 
of Bow Island, he likewise mentions the fact that several of its points 
had undergone material change, or were no longer the same,* when 
visited after a lapse of fourteen years. These remarks refer particu- 
larly to islets situated within the lagoon. I could myself quote many 
instances of the same description; but this would occupy too much 

I shall, therefore, take leave of the coral islands, trusting that these 
few remarks may excite a spirit of investigation in others. 

Among other duties assigned Lieutenant Johnson were tidal obser- 
vations, which were continued uninterruptedly, from the 19th of De- 
cember, 1840, till his departure from the island; but unfortunately, 
the tide-staff was placed in the lagoon, a place not free from objections, 
because the tide there has but a small rise and fall, and is much in- 
fluenced by the wind, that blows the water over the reef, giving less 
tide and a longer outflowing there ; but the flood was distinctly seen, 
by Lieutenant Johnson, during a fishing excursion at the entrance of 
the lagoon, to flow in rapidly ; and the high tide was correct, for the 
water on the reef was two feet or more in depth. The record of 
these observations gives the high water at the full and change of the 
moon at six o'clock : the rise and fall in the lagoon eight inches, and 
two tides in twenty-four hours. During our visit to this island I had 
observed a fall of upwards of two feet, and have to regret that the 
tide-staff was placed in so unfortunate a position. 

Lieutenant Johnson reports the inhabitants as being twenty in num- 
ber, seven men, eight women, and five children. In this small com- 
munity they seem to experience the ills of life as well as elsewhere ; 
for of the men, one was aged, another helpless, and a third a cripple, 
and one of the women was stone-blind. 

On the day the Porpoise made Aratica, they discovered a large 
double canoe, with two mat-sails, which proved to be from Anaa, and 
bound to Aratica ; there were sixteen persons on board, men, women, 
and children, together with their mats, calabashes, and large supplies 
of cocoa-nuts, &c., with which they declined parting. They had left 
Anaa, a distance of one hundred and thirty miles to the southward, the 
morning before. The canoe was a dull sailer, the brig leaving her 
far behind ; she, however, reached the entrance to the lagoon during 
the day, and was warped through the passage into it. 

The next day the Porpoise sailed for Tahiti, where she arrived on 

* See Captain Belcher's remarks on Bow Island Voyage around the World in 1836 
and 1842. 


the 21st of January. The appearance of things at Papieti seemed very 
much as they had been twelve months before ; but some events had 
occurred during the year, which it will be as well to notice, as they 
will show how things are conducted, and give an insight into the con- 
duct of royalty that was little dreamed of by us on our former visit. 

On the 7th of May, one of the unhappy domestic feuds of the royal 
family threw the whole of Papieti into a ferment. The queen, followed 
by all her attendants, with great lamentations, rushed into a foreigner's 
house, to escape from her royal consort, who was pursuing her, utter- 
ing dreadful menaces. The facts of the quarrel, as derived from 
authentic sources, are as follows. As Pomare was on her way to 
Papieti from her residence at Papaoa, she was met by Pomare-taui 
riding furiously. Owing to the turn of the road, he did not perceive the 
queen's party in time to stop, and ran over one of the maids, knocking 
her down, and bruising her. Pomare, attributing the accident to his 
being intoxicated, began to abuse him in opprobrious terms. Enraged 
at it, he dismounted, and began not only to abuse, but also to strike 
her. Not content with this, he caught her by the hair, threw her 
down, and attempted to strangle her, which he was only prevented 
from doing by the attendants, who held him until Pomare fled for her 
life. Disappointed in overtaking her, he hurried to her new palace at 
Papieti, and vented his anger by demolishing the windows, breaking 
open her boxes and trunks, and tearing her wardrobe and finery to 
pieces, thus doing injury to the amount of some two thousand dollars. 

On the perpetration of this outrage, the queen at first declared her 
intention of summoning the judges and suing for a divorce ; but soon 
changed her mind, and forgave her husband on his promising future 
good behaviour. 

Although this may appear extraordinary conduct on the part of the 
king-consort, yet when one learns that the queen has been in the habit 
of giving him a sound cudgelling, even on the highway, his conduct is 
not so surprising, particularly as it is said that she administered her 
punishments with such earnestness and force that he would not be 
likely soon to lose the remembrance of them. 

These broils in the royal family may, I believe, be justly charged to 
the foreign residents whom I have spoken of before as being the authors 
of them, for they administer to his depraved appetite in order to derive 
pecuniary advantage from these disturbances. 

On the llth of May, a great meeting of the district schools took 
place at Papaoa. This had been in prospect for several weeks, and 
every one was anxious for the event. The procession to the chapel 
was the great scene of display : here the orator of the day was to offi- 


ciate, after which a feast was to be given by the queen to the chiefs 
and children. 

As there was some novelty in this celebration, which was the first 
of the kind attempted, I will give a short description of it, derived 
from an eye-witness. First came the boys of Papieti and Papaoa, to 
the number of about two hundred, dressed in blue cotton coats and 
trousers, the seams bound with narrow strips of red and white cloth, 
the facings of the coats of many colours, and not unfrequently the 
coats themselves of diverse colours on the alternate sides : the skirts 
were also of different colours ; others were to be seen with white 
jackets, and skirts of plaid cloth ; on their heads they wore home-made 
cocked-hats, manufactured from bullock's-hide, on which were pasted 
representations of men, birds, beasts, fishes, &c., cut out of coarse paper 
or bark, and affixed with gum. 

Next followed the young men and boys of Matavai and Pappino, 
similarly equipped. One among these attracted particular attention 
for his cap was decorated with two tiers of small looking-glasses, sur- 
mounted by a crown of feathers, a large bunch of which was stuck 
into an old tin nutmeg-grater, in front, as a pompoon, while by way 
of decoration was seen suspended on the left breast, by a blue riband, 
the polished bottom of a brass candlestick. Many of the larger boys 
had on epaulettes and swords ; others were armed with sticks, and had 
epaulettes of shavings dyed yellow. A number of the older boys 
carried flags of tapa, stained and decorated with fanciful devices. 

Next came all the female children, very neatly dressed, and the 
queen, Pomare, with her attendant maids of honour, thirty in number, 
arrayed in white, with neat straw bonnets, profusely decorated with 
gay ribands and feathers: the larger proportion of them had short 
stockings on for the first time in their lives : each of them carried a 
silken scarf suspended to the end of a long reed, and the scarfs were 
of every variety of colour. 

In the rear was Pomare-taui and the principal chiefs : the latter 
were dressed in military costume, and their clothes fitted so well that 
they might be termed well dressed. 

Near the chapel, sentinels were posted to keep off the crowd : these 
had muskets, said to have been borrowed for the occasion, with which 
they saluted the queen as she advanced. At intervals in the procession 
were officers and the monitors of the schools, for the purpose of keeping 

At the chapel, the services were conducted by Mr. Pritchard, who 
made an address of an hour's duration, which was listened to with 
great attention ; after which the procession formed again, the queen 
VOL. iv. 35 


and her attendants leading the way to the feast. This was spread in 
a large house at Toanoa Point, which had been erected for the occa- 
sion, surrounded with a palisade, and gaily decked with flags, &c. 

Near the entrance her majesty halted, and the children passed in 
review before her, the monitors shouting at the top of their voices, 
" God save our Queen Pomare, may her life be long !" to which the 
children responded, " Amen." They then formed in line and received 
the queen, taking off their caps and bowing low as she passed. About 
thirty foreigners were there to pay their respects : these she invited to 
dine with her, fine mats being spread for their accommodation. On the 
centre of these mats were placed fresh leaves of the hibiscus, on which 
native food was served, consisting of baked pig, taro, bread-fruit, &c., 
cooked in a variety of ways, with fermented cocoa-nut pulp: for sauce 
there were small calabashes of salt water, and for drink the young 
cocoa-nut milk : each person was furnished with a plate, but knives 
and forks were not supplied. Mr. Pritchard said a short grace, when 
her majesty set the example to the rest, and they all began with 

When the royal party had finished, the schools by districts suc- 
ceeded ; and after all had done, the procession was again formed, and 
marched several times round the enclosure, chaunting, and going 
through a variety of gesticulations and manoeuvres, with surprising 
accuracy, and in excellent concert. 

Several speeches were now made by Mr. Pritchard and the chiefs, 
highly commendatory of the conduct of all, and laudatory of those 
present, including the foreigners, who returned their acknowledgments 
to the queen for the civility. Thus ended this day's feast. 

The scene that took place the next day will serve to show the 
hostile feelings of which I made mention in my account of this island, 
as existing between the high chiefs and the queen's party. 

A meeting had been called for the purpose of receiving the reports 
of the auxiliary societies, and the returns of contributions : the people 
were found assembled ; her majesty was robed in a crimson silk, and 
her maids in close-fitting jackets of the same colour, with white skirts. 
Notwithstanding the religious tendency of the meeting, want of har- 
mony interrupted its proceedings, and extended to such lengths at one 
time as to have had the appearance of terminating very seriously. 

This misunderstanding arose from the circumstance of the Matavai 
people having dined with the queen the day before, instead of keeping 
an engagement they had made with the Anaan chiefs at another place. 
The latter were indignant that they should have been thus treated witli 
neglect without apology. 


The Matavaians, instead of coming into the chapel at the door 
appointed for them, chose that which had been appropriated to the 
Anaans, at the opposite end. The latter, imagining that this was 
done out of bravado, pushed back the foremost of the Matavaians and 
closed the door. The Matavaians, being under the impression that it 
was intended they should be excluded altogether, burst it open and 
rushed in, headed by Hitoti and Paofai. A scene of uproar and con- 
fusion immediately ensued. There were at this time more than five 
hundred persons in the chapel, and the men were striking at and 
wrestling with each other, tumbling over the benches in all directions, 
while those who did not fight were shouting and encouraging the 

Several of the chiefs, with Messrs. Pritchard, Darling, Wilson, and 
others, among whom was old Taati, laboured in vain to restore peace 
and quietness: the affray continued; swords were drawn, muskets 
handled, and all appeared preparing for a bloody fight. The ladies of 
the mission present sought safety beyond the building ; while all the 
native women made a general flight to the Broom Road. 

Pomare and the king-consort behaved with great spirit : the former 
seized upon Hitoti ; the latter, being of great strength and power, used 
his fist upon several of the ringleaders, knocking them down and 
putting the rest to flight. 

The affray lasted half an hour, and terminated in the expulsion of 
the Anaans with several bruised heads. Upon quiet being restored, 
the ladies returned, when the Rev. Mr. Wilson, of Matavai, preached 
a sermon on " brotherly love," reproving them for their want of it, 
and for their disgraceful conduct. He expressed much sorrow that 
his congregation, of which he had been in charge forty years, should 
have behaved so ill, unmindful of the numerous lessons he had given 

After the sermon, the contributions for the year were counted, and 
found to be about four hundred dollars : little more than half those of 
the preceding year. After this, a discussion took place as to the best 
mode of preventing the recurrence of a like scene, and also the course 
to be pursued in punishing the offenders. 

In consequence of the disturbance, the feast which was to have 
taken place was dispensed with, and most of them retired to their 
homes ; but it was afterwards understood, that a good many remained 
and kept up an uproarious night. 

The friends of good order agreed in opinion that this day's dis- 
turbance would be rather beneficial than otherwise, by showing who 
were most desirous of preserving harmony ; and perhaps would lead 


to more caution in future. This, it seems to me, is rather an absurd 
argument as respects a community that have been acting under a 
constitution and laws, with their pious teachers, for the last fifteen or 
twenty years. 

These distui'bances manifestly arise from want of respect, on the 
part of the rival chiefs, for their queen and her husband : the latter are 
disposed to look upon the royal conduct as disgraceful, and as setting 
an example highly derogatory to their own standing and that of the 
chiefs and nation. They believe these difficulties to be owing to the 
intervention of foreigners, who take every opportunity to set the 
laws at defiance ; and since the visit of the Venus, Captain Du Petit 
Thouars, foreigners have been still more active in taking advantage 
of the difficulties that these natives get into. 

At the time the Porpoise visited Papieti, the queen was absent on 
a visit to one of the other islands of the group, accompanied by a large 
retinue of attendants, with nearly three hundred soldiers, dressed in 
queer and uncouth uniforms, somewhat similar to what has already 
been described. 

Since our first visit, it was remarked by the officers, that a more 
efficient police had been established at Papieti : no sailors or riotous 
persons were allowed to be abroad after eight o'clock, without a 
written pass from the consul ; and in case of being found without, such 
a document, the offender was put in the stocks and kept there until a 
fine of two dollars was paid. This regulation was found necessary to 
preserve the peace of the village ; and was said to be rigidly enforced. 

The American property that has visited the ports of Tahiti during the 
last year, has, according to information derived from our consul, 
amounted to upwards of five millions of dollars. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold having completed the duties, in- 
cluding the magnetic and chronometric observations he was charged 
with in visiting Tahiti, obtained water, refreshed the crew, and took his 
departure; but in consequence of the calms that prevailed, he found 
much difficulty in leaving the port. 

Immediately on getting outside, they were influenced by a rapid 
current, setting to the southward. For three or four days they had 
very light winds or calms, and made but little progress on their route : 
the weather was exceedingly warm. On the 3d of February, they had 
a strong breeze from the northward and northwest ; after this had con- 
tinued for two days, it hauled to the northeast. Several of the crew 
were taken down with dysentery and fever. 

The trade-wind was found at this season of the year in latitude 13 
S. ; and from what information I was able to gather, I am disposed to 


believe that it cannot be calculated upon during the months of Decem- 
ber, January, and February, south of latitude 14 S. 

On the 6th of February, they made Flint's Island, situated in 
longitude 151 48' W., and latitude 11 25' 43" S. It is of small size, 
being only one mile and a half in length, from north-northwest to south- 
southeast, and thickly wooded: high breakers extended off its point for 
some distance, and the surf was so high that it was deemed impossible 
to land with a boat, which is to be regretted, as these isolated islands 
are always extremely interesting. No inhabitants were seen. The 
current was found to be setting to the westward. 

The next island searched for was one reported to have been seen by 
Captain Cash. It was discovered on the 8th, and proved to be a low 
sandy islet with a lagoon. It is well wooded, half a mile in diameter, 
of oval shape, with heavy breakers surrounding it. Landing was 
reported to be impossible, and no attempt was made. After determining 
its position to be in latitude 10 05' S., and longitude 152 22' 30" W., 
they bore away for the position of Penrhyn Island. Lieutenant-Com- 
mandant Ringgold believed the island last spoken of to be Staver's 
Island, and by this name it is designated on our charts. At night the 
water was very phosphorescent : its temperature 78. 

The Porpoise next passed over the supposed site of Teinhoven 
Island, without seeing any signs of land, and thence northwest across 
two positions assigned to Penrhyn's, examining particularly that given 
by Captain Cash, in latitude 9 58' S., and longitude 158 14' W. No 
island, however, was seen. Proceeding further to the northwest, they, 
on the 15th, discovered land, which proved to be Penrhyn Island, about 
thirty miles west of its place on Arrowsmith's Chart. It was of the 
usual coral formation, low, and densely covered with trees, among 
which the cocoa-nut was the most conspicuous. 

The vessel stood off and on all night, and on the 16th, at sunrise, 
canoes were discovered approaching the brig, in great numbers, many 
of them large. At seven o'clock, two came alongside, and others soon 
followed them. As the numbers of the visitors increased, they became 
more bold, and clambered up the sides, uttering loud and savage yells. 
They were the wildest and most savage-looking beings that had been 
met with, vociferating in a frightful manner, and accompanying their 
exclamations with the most violent contortions and gesticulations : they 
seemed frantic with excitement. These natives were quite naked, 
except a few who had on a small maro of cocoa-nut leaves. 

The canoes contained from seven to sixteen men each, all equally 
wild. The noise they made was almost deafening; every individual 
talking earnestly in a language not comprehended by our party. The 


tone of their voices was altogether discordant, at one moment high and 
shrill, and at the next sinking to a deep gruff' base. In their harangues 
they slapped their thighs with great violence, and some wrung their 
hands and cried, protruding their eyes, and making frightful grimaces, 
reminding one strongly of maniacs in their utmost frenzy. They were 
not capable of fixing their attention for a moment on any one object, 
but with fitful rapidity they changed their regards from one thing to 

Although they at first seemed unarmed, yet, upon a close inspection 
it was seen that they had weapons concealed in their canoes. A few 
of them succeeded in getting on board, and several articles were pil- 
fered from the poop-deck, among them a pea-jacket, which was 
quickly and adroitly secreted in one of the canoes. A huge savage, 
with his eyes apparently starting out of his head, seized the man-rope, 
pulled the stanchion out of its place, and was in the act of passing it 
over the side when it was rescued from him. The islanders now be- 
came troublesome, and the order was given to clear the decks, which 
was quickly done by the crew with their cutlasses, but none of their 
visitors were injured. The moment they got into their canoes, large 
pieces of coral and shells were hurled on board with great force : two 
guns were fired over their heads, but they took no notice of them, and 
stood up in their canoes, brandishing their spears and yelling defiance. 
As their numbers were constantly increasing, Lieutenant-Commandant 
Ringgold thought it prudent to keep the brig under way, beat to quar- 
ters, and made preparations to meet attack, if it should be intended. 

Three or four canoes were kept towing astern, and after many 
ineffectual and long-continued efforts, a trade was begun for their 
arms, necklaces, &c., which they parted with for iron, knives, cloth, 
and other articles. The first they designated by the name of " toke," 
and the meaning of several other of their words was ascertained. 
These islanders did not know the use of tobacco, but would receive 
any and every thing offered : on receiving the articles they immedi- 
ately thrust on board the article sold, and appeared fair in dealing, 
though they proved themselves to be expert thieves. 
Like other natives of Polynesia, they seemed a half amphibious 
race, diving for any thing dropped overboard with great ease and 
unconcern. They are of a light olive colour, though darker than 
either the Samoans or Tahitians, with fine black hair. The old men 
had beards and mustaches. They partook of the Samoan cast of 
feature, and are an equally athletic, erect, and finely-formed race. 

Neither tattooing nor circumcision appears to be practised, but many 
of the men were observed to have lost their front teeth. The custom, 


however, of scarifying the body and limbs appears to be general. 
Dress they had none, except a small maro. A few words were found 
to resemble the other Polynesian dialects, but neither the Hawaiians 
nor Tahitians could communicate with them. 

Only two or three women were seen : they were delicate in appear- 
ance, of light complexion, and feminine cast of features, with long 
glossy hair, and beautiful white teeth. Dr. Holmes remarks that 
their mammae were immensely large. The women from their gestures 
proved themselves to possess habits fully as unchaste and profligate as 
elsewhere in Polynesia. 

From what was seen of these natives, they appeared a ferocious 
and quarrelsome set, paying little attention or regard to the old men, 
whom they treated with great roughness. On the occasion of a canoe 
being overturned by coming in contact with a larger one, and drifting 
astern, an old man seized hold of the larger canoe, to save himself 
from following his boat ; but instead of any assistance being offered 
him, his fingers were struck until he relinquished his hold and was 
obliged to seek his own canoe. 

Few evidences of rank were observed among them, and but one 
was seen who had the appearance of being a chief. This was an old 
man, who was seated in the centre of a canoe, paddled by fifteen 
natives, who were striving hard to overtake the brig. He wore a sort 
of mantle of plaited leaves over his shoulders, with a fillet of leaves 
on his head, and his whole bearing and conduct betokened authority. 
A bunch of what were apparently cock's feathers was also noticed. 

Spears made of cocoa-nut wood, from six to eight feet long, were 
the only weapons seen among them, with the exception of pieces of 

For ornaments they had strands of human hair braided and deco- 
rated with finger-nails half an inch long, and two to each strand. 
Only two or three of them wore short mantles. 

Their canoes were of a dark-coloured wood, with a light out-rigger, 
and without sails: they were ingeniously constructed of pieces sewed 
together with sennit; they leaked badly, however, and it was neces- 
sary to keep one man constantly baling. They were the largest that 
had yet been seen constructed on a low island. These people appear 
to have few tools, and the only articles of European manufacture that 
were seen was a plane-iron fastened to a stick, in the form of an adze, 
with a few blue glass beads. 

The island was by estimate fifty feet high, and was found to be 
nine miles long, north-northeast and south-southwest, and about five 
miles wide, with an extensive lagoon, having in it many coral 


patches : there is a boat-entrance into it. On the northwest side there 
appears to be a continuous village, with cocoa-nut groves throughout 
its whole extent, and the island is evidently very thickly peopled : 
the ferocity of the savages precluded the possibility of attempting a 

The island is believed to afford some tortoise-shell and pearls ; but 
the ferocious and savage disposition of the natives would require 
traders to be strongly armed. 

Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold induced one of the natives to 
come on board for a hatchet, and directed him to draw the shape of 
the island with a piece of chalk ; but he proved so wild and was so 
much amazed, that he did nothing but leap about, constantly uttering 

The communication with this island was too brief and imperfect to 
obtain any satisfactory knowledge of its manners and customs, and 
the disposition of the natives was averse to such intercourse : they 
appeared to have been seldom visited by vessels. It is believed that 
they have the domestic fowl among them, from its feathers having been 
seen as ornaments. The yam was also observed, but not the taro. 

The brig supplied them with sweet-potatoes, pumpkins, and oranges, 
and made signs that they were to plant them, which they well under- 
stood, and engaged to do. 

In exchange for the various articles we received, they were given 
knives, shawls, iron, hatchets, and cotton cloth. 

It was remarked that they possessed the most astonishing talent for 
haranguing : some individuals continued for three quarters of an hour 
to hold forth in a tone which it seemed impossible for any individual 
to sustain for more than a few minutes, hardly stopping to take breath, 
and keeping up at the same time constant and violent gesticulations. 
These attracted no attention from their fellows, as each seemed bent 
upon doing his part, and tried to be equally uproarious. 

It was now deemed impossible to extend the cruise to the Isles of 
Danger, agreeably to the instructions, on account of want of time and 
scarcity of provisions. This I regret, as I was very desirous that these 
islands, pointed out by Admiral Krusenstern, should be examined. 
This cruise would also have embraced the western positions of Flint's 
and other islands, as laid down on Arrowsmith's Chart. Compelled to 
forego this part of his intended task, he stood to the northward, for the 
purpose of fulfilling that portion of his instructions that lay in his route 
to the Hawaiian Group. 

Between latitudes 3 S. and 5 N., the easterly current was found 
to prevail, as before observed by the squadron, between 5 and 10 


N. They then experienced light northeast winds, with strong equa- 
torial currents, which with the strength of the northeast trades carried 
them to leeward, and prevented their making the Hawaiian Islands. 
This rendered necessary the curtailment of the rations to less than 
one-half. The officers, with proper spirit, shared the privations of 
the men, and tendered their stores to the commander for the common 

On their way north, New York Island was seen; and on the 
evening of the 24th of March, they anchored off Honolulu, after an 
absence of four months and nine days, only eight of which were passed 
in port. 

The results of this cruise of the Porpoise were satisfactory to me, 
although it had been found impossible to carry out all the duties 
embraced in her instructions. The performance of those that were 
accomplished was attended with much fatigue from the adverse state 
of the weather, an obstacle I was somewhat apprehensive of, but not 
to the extent that they experienced. Had I been at liberty, or had 
time allowed, I should have gladly chosen another season for it. With 
suitable weather, there would have been ample time to accomplish the 

While on this cruise, they were more troubled with sickness on 
board the brig than at any other time during our absence: several 
cases of dysentery occurred, one of which, as before mentioned, proved 

From the report of Lieutenant-Commandant Ringgold, relative to 
the Porpoise, and on examination of her bottom, the copper was found 
so far gone as to make it necessary to re-copper her. This cause of 
detention was unlocked for, and I had been in hopes to give her crew 
a short relaxation ; but there was no opportunity for it. The necessity 
of a speedy departure admitted of no delay. She was accordingly 
hauled into the wharf, and they commenced heaving her down. The 
crew of the Vincennes assisted in these duties. Some few difficulties 
occurred, but by the uninterrupted and constant attention of all, the 
work was soon completed, and the brig again prepared for sea. 

During this time the effect that the introduction of French wines 
and brandies had had upon the habits as well as morals of the lower 
orders, became very evident; and to avert this evil influence from the 
crews of both vessels became one of the most troublesome duties the 
officers had to perform. So great is this annoyance, that I think it 
sufficient to prevent the making of any repairs but what can be done 
at anchor in the harbour, and will ere long, I fear, prevent this port 
from being the resort of the whaling fleet, or even of casual vessels. 

VOL. iv. Y S 36 


For this reason I would recommend Lahaina and Hilo Bay, to those 
vessels which only require refreshment, as being the preferable stopping- 

During this time, observations were had for the rating of our chro- 
nometers, and many other duties were performed, besides finally 
settling up the accounts of the squadron, which occupied us until the 
3d of April, when the Vincennes left the harbour and anchored in the 
outer roads, leaving the Porpoise to follow as soon after as possible. 

Although I have mentioned various productions of the soil of the 
Hawaiian Islands, in describing the several districts that were visited, 
yet it may be as well to record in this place, those we found indigenous 
to the islands. They consist of the following important plants. 

Taro (Caladium esculentum), of which they have thirteen varieties : 
ipulemo akea is that most cultivated. It is planted at all seasons of the 
year, usually in patches which are also used as fish-ponds. All parts 
of the taro are used : the leaves form, when cooked, what is termed 
" luau," and from this the natives give the name of luau to every 
thing cooked with them : as luau pig, or luau dog. The taro of the 
upland is the same kind as that grown in the water. 

The yam (Dioscorea), uhi of the natives, is not so plentiful nor so 
good, at this group, as we found it on the islands in the South Pacific. 

Arrow-root (Tacca) : this already begins to form an article of com- 
merce, and might be much improved, both by cultivation and in its 
preparation, which ought to be taught to the natives. It must even- 
tually form an important object to those who trade with this group. 

Sweet-potato : this vegetable some think may have been introduced 
by the Spaniards. There are thirty-three varieties of it, nineteen of 
which are of a red colour, and thirteen white. 

Sisymbrium grows about Honolulu, and is used by the residents as 
a salad. 

Fern-root (Blechnum), the core of which is eaten by the natives. 

Cocoa-nuts are plentiful, but little used. 

Papaw apple (Carica papaya) is abundant. 

Rose apple (Eugenia) is plentiful, and a very fine fruit. 

Bananas, plantains, abundant. 

Candle-nut (Aleurites triloba), tutui of the natives. The oil of this 
nut is becoming an article of commerce, and is said to answer for 

Bread-fruit (Artocarpus incisa), of which there is only one species. 

Pandanus, " lauhala" is one of the most useful trees they have : the 
leaves are used for making baskets, mats, and for thatching their 
houses. The women make necklaces from the nuts. 


Hibiscus tiliaceus, " haw," also serves many purposes, among which 
is the manufacture of ropes: its wood being light and tough, is used 
for out-riggers, and for sticks to carry burdens on. 

Acacia, which is used in a variety of ways. 

The black mustard has become naturalized. 

Turmeric (Curcuma) is also found, I understood, in considerable 
quantities on Maui, of which some has been procured for sale, and 
was pronounced to be of excellent quality. 

Indigo is found growing wild, particularly in Hawaii. Almost all 
kinds of foreign fruits and vegetables have been introduced, and with 
but few exceptions, succeed well : this is also the case with many 
ornamental trees, shrubs, and plants. 

It was observed by our botanists, that the character of the flora of 
the Hawaiian Islands is similar, in many respects, to both the Indian 
and Polynesian, yet in some particulars it bears a strong contrast to 
the southern Polynesian islands. This difference consists in the absence 
of all species of Ficus : the small varieties of trees are also absent, 
although there are some extensive forests. Orchideous plants are 
extremely rare, and the epiphytic species wanting altogether, while 
the Compositae are much more abundant than in the more southern 

In the ferns, however, the difference is most obvious, and consists in 
the predominance here of different genera and tribes. 

The absence of American plants was also observed here: they did 
not appear to be much more numerous than at the southern islands, 
notwithstanding what has been generally reported. 

The most remarkable feature of the flora is the woody Lobeliacese ; 
these are in great variety, and constitute several distinct genera. 

It is believed there are more than fifty genera of different families 
peculiar to these islands; and with regard to species, it is thought all 
that are unequivocally indigenous, will be found strictly confined to 
this portion of the globe. 

The botanical regions may be divided into that of the sea-coast, the 
wooded district below the altitude of six thousand feet, and a third 
division at a still higher level. Alpine plants do not occur here. For 
further remarks on the interesting botany of this group, I must refer to 
the Botanical Report of the cruise. 

Having spoken so much of the climate of the different districts, it 
will only be necessary here to take a general view of that of the whole 
Hawaiian Group. The monthly mean temperature ranges between 
70 and 78. This remark applies to the coast almost exclusively ; 
for, as would naturally be expected, on higher elevations the thermo- 


meter stands lower. The daily variation is seldom more than ten or 
twelve degrees. The barometer does not usually vary much from 
30-00 in. It will have been perceived that there is a great difference 
in the degree of moisture which exists within a few miles ; indeed, I 
might say, that within a few rods a different climate often prevails: in 
this respect, there are few places in the islands so remarkable as the 
immediate vicinity of the town of Honolulu. 

While parts of the town are rarely visited by showers, other portions 
of it are noted for the frequency of their occurrence. In passing from 
the town up the valley of Nuuanu, rain becomes more frequent, until 
at last the superabundance of moisture is quite annoying. 

There is a great variety of opinions relative to the healthfullness of 
the climate, and it certainly has opposite effects upon the feelings of 
different persons. Upon the whole, the leeward side of the island is to 
be preferred as a place of residence, although the quantity of dust 
renders it at times very uncomfortable, for it seldom happens that 
there is sufficient rain to lay it ; while on the weather side the fre- 
quency of showers is much complained of. In some parts, it is said, 
a day never passes without rain. 

With respect to the force of the trade-wind, which generally prevails 
for nine months of the year, it is at times, extremely unpleasant, and 
blows over the high land of the islands with great fury, sometimes 
becoming dangerous to vessels in the neighbourhood. This remark 
applies particularly to the small islands: the larger ones have alternate 
land and sea breezes, which moderate their temperature, and usually 
the winds are not so violent. The most delightful part of the twenty- 
four hours is the night, and I have never experienced such pleasant 
ones in any other part of the globe. Though warm, there is an elasti- 
city in the air that never exhausts. In the winter season, from Decem- 
ber to March, the trade-winds for the most part cease; calms take 
their place, and occasionally a southwest gale is experienced for two 
or three days. This is generally preceded by a heavy swell setting 
from that quarter, and a great increase in the surf. This wind is 
accompanied by heavy rain: we did not experience it ourselves, except 
while on the mountain ; but the residents informed me that it was 
extremely uncomfortable, and instead of the elasticity usually felt in 
the northeast wind, they experienced a heavy dull feeling, relaxing the 
whole system. At certain seasons of the year there are heavy dews ; 
exposure to them, however, is not deemed injurious. 

The diseases of the climate are few, and generally of a mild type, 
and from the report of physicians long resident, the islands may be 
considered healthy for foreigners. The diseases that are most preva- 


lent are fevers, diarrhoeas, inflammations, dropsy, catarrhs, ophthalmia, 
asthma, dysentery, rheumatism, scrofula, and venereal 

These diseases, notwithstanding the absence of apparent causes, are 
frequent among the natives; but many of them are brought on by 
living in their grass-houses, which are by no means impervious to the 
weather, and are consequently often wet. Another frequent cause is 
the partial decomposition of the grasses with which they are thatched 
on the roof and sides. In passing into them I invariably experienced 
a smell of mustiness, and a mouldy appearance is frequently seen 
about their mats and tapas. From the openness of the houses they 
of course are subject to all the atmospheric changes, which must naiu- 
rally induce disease by the constant checking of perspiration, a cause 
that is rendered still more active by their sleeping on damp ground. 

Ophthalmia is much complained of, particularly about Honolulu, 
Lahaina, and some places on Kauai: this might be ascribed to the 
quantity of dust that is daily put in circulation by the trade-winds, were 
it not that the disease is equally prevalent where this cause does not 
exist. I have heard it suggested that the prevalence of the strong 
trade-winds, with the salt spray driven by them, may be another cause. 

Cutaneous diseases are usually caused by the want of cleanliness ; 
for, although the natives are in the habit of bathing frequently, yet, 
from my observations of their customs and dwellings, I cannot but 
deem them a filthy people : the tapa and cotton clothing of both sexes 
is worn until it is fairly in rags, and has become so dirty as to be dis- 
gusting : they seldom if ever think of a change of raiment. Their 
houses are shared with their domestic fowls, dogs, and pigs, and are 
rarely free from the dirt that so many denizens must produce. One 
sees that most filthy disease, the itch, not unfrequently affecting the 
larger portion of the inmates of a house, and I could not help wonder- 
ing that so little improvement had manifested itself among them, in 
their habitations and mode of living. 

My friend, Dr. Judd, assured me, that hepatic diseases were ex- 
tremely rare, and that this ocean seems to be peculiarly exempt from 
all biliary diseases. The ground of this belief, is the almost total 
absence of them on board our whaling fleet. The physicians of Hono- 
lulu and Lahaina, where these ships often stop in large numbers, 
assured me that they seldom heard of a case. These islands are indeed 
little subject to these diseases, or the typhus, bilious, and yellow fevers, 
which prevail so extensively on the continents. They are also free 
from the measles, small-pox, &c. 

The diseases of children are frequent, but may chiefly be accounted 
for by the want of cleanliness and attention from their parents : hence 


the great mortality among them, which has been before spoken of. They 
are also allowed to eat the most indigestible food, and from this and 
other causes are frequently seen covered with excoriations and ulcers, 
that are truly horrible. 

A somewhat similar disease to that which we have observed in the 
other Polynesian islands, exists here under the name of the poupou ; but 
it is by no means so violent, nor did we see any cases of so disgusting a 
character as those heretofore described : it is very much confined to the 

In speaking of the native diseases, I cannot but think that many of 
them are brought about by the habit of eating their food so much 
fermented, until indeed at times it has become disagreeable to the 
smell: in this state, however, it is always preferred. I do not remem- 
ber having observed this to be the case in any other of the Polynesian 
islands, as respects their vegetable diet. 

Epidemics are not frequent, although a dreadful one prevailed in 
1803 and 1804, which is said to have destroyed a large number of the 
inhabitants, and visited all the islands. 

The whooping-cough was introduced in some way, and spread itself 
throughout the group. 

The influenza prevails both during the winter and spring, but is only 
fatal to the old and weak. 

The native doctors, if such they may be called, frequently aggravate 
disease by their nostrums. Dr. Judd related to me many instances of 
their quackery, which not unfrequently ended in death. The native 
remedies, however, are of some value, if they had knowledge enough 
properly to apply them ; but without this intelligence, they are at all 
times more or less dangerous : they consist of the candle-nut ( Aleurites 
triloba), the bitter calabash (Cuourbita lagenaria), the seeds of the 
castor-oil nut, a species of Ipomrea, and many other powerful herbs, 
of which they make strong decoctions : these are often administered by 
enema, and their operation frequently brings on great agonies and 
death. To these are added incantations, which of themselves are quite 
enough to kill. But, worst of all, it often happens that those who are 
well are induced to take preventive remedies for future sickness, which 
are said in some cases to be more severe than the constitution of the 
patient can bear. 

Of surgery the Hawaiians know nothing whatever, nor have they 
much occasion for its practice, for few of them receive injuries suffi- 
cient to call for the application of that branch of the healing art. 

The physicians attached to the mission, of which there are several, 
do incalculable good in alleviating distresses and superintending their 


wants : all this is done gratuitously, and I think seems little esteemed, 
however strange it may seem, by the natives. I very much doubt the 
policy of giving their services and medicines free of charge, for the 
natives are abundantly able to pay, and I make no doubt would do so 
if they felt they could thus command the services of the physician 
whenever needed. 

This is a part of the organization of the American Mission that is 
highly commendable : in no other mission is it found. It not only 
alleviates the cares of the missionaries themselves, in their families, but 
adds greatly to their success, and power of doing good. One of the 
great difficulties in practising medicine among the natives, is their 
heedlessness and inability to restrain their appetites, both as respects 
the patients themselves, and their families and friends: they often dis- 
regard all injunctions as to diet, nor do they exercise any control 
whatever over the sick. The natives, however, are adepts in alleviating 
pains, as I myself can testify : the practice of the loomi-loomi seldom 
fails in assuaging headache and pains in the limbs ; but this is not 
practised by those who are the disciples of Esculapius. 

Although the Hawaiian Is-lands have been much vaunted as a resort 
for invalids, I am not satisfied that it would be beneficial to visit them, 
unless the person afflicted would, on choosing the most suitable abode 
for his recovery, confine himself to the circumscribed limits. Few 
comforts could be looked for, unless the patient were to become an 
inmate of some one of the missionaries' or respectable residents' 
houses, where they will be sure to enjoy all the kind attentions and the 
care of another home. 










ON the 5th April, 1841, we had completed our repairs, and made 
arrangements for the transportation of our stores to the Columbia 
river by the brig Wave. The Porpoise was ordered to leave the 
harbour in the afternoon, and anchor near the Vincennes in the outer 
roads. Towards sunset we took leave of our kind and numerous 
friends, and the same night at ll h 30 m , the signal was made for 
getting under way. We soon afterwards made sail, and steered to 
the westward, in order to pass between the islands of Oahu and 

Light winds prevailed for several days, during which we made but 
little progress. The second day after our departure, Lieutenant-Com- 
mandant Ringgold made signal that the rudder of the Porpoise was 
out of order, and would not work. We therefore hove-to, and sent 
the carpenters of the Vincennes on board the Porpoise, who returned 
in a short time and reported that it was all right. The winds for 
these first few days were northerly, and therefore not only light, but 

During this time the crew of the Porpoise was much afflicted with 
sickness. This, according to the report of Assistant-Surgeon Holmes, 
was caused by the constant labour which the men had undergone, and 
to their dissipation while in port. The cases were of a very serious 
character : four of them took the typhoid fever, and what was singular, 
seven of the persons affected were petty officers. The worst case was 
that of the carpenter, who had probably undergone more fatigue than 
any other person. 



On the 9th, at the request of Dr. Holmes, Dr. Fox was sent on 
board the Porpoise to hold a consultation. 

In all these cases there was much fever, attended with constipation 
and a tendency to inflammation of the bowels. Until the 15th the 
state of the sick continued critical, but, through the perseverance, 
attention, and skill of Dr. Holmes, the disease was finally conquered. 
As the sick became convalescent, I was desirous of having them re- 
moved to the Vincennes, but the medical gentlemen were of opinion 
that it was not expedient to transfer them to that vessel, lest the dis 
ease might be of an infectious character. 

During all this time the crew of the Vincennes enjoyed remarkably 
good health. 

On the 12th, in latitude 25 N., longitude 160 W., we found the 
current setting north-northeast. By the 16th, the temperature fell to 
64, which we felt as exceedingly cold. 

In proceeding to the north, I was desirous to pass over a portion of 
the sea that had not been examined by preceding navigators, particu- 
larly as it is confidently believed by many persons in the Hawaiian 
Islands, that land existed in the neighbourhood where we now were. 
I was, therefore, anxious to make search for it in such places as had 
not been explored by others, and I had procured a chart, showing the 
tracks of Portlock and others. This search was made as closely as 
time and opportunity permitted, but ineffectually. I am, however, far 
from satisfied that land may not exist in this quarter, for we in fact did 
little in the way of exploration, in consequence of the foggy and hazy 
weather which limited our view. 

The part of the Northern Pacific which lies between the latitudes 
of 33 and 43 N., and longitudes of 140 and 150 W., is particularly 
subject to fogs and thick weather, and there are few places where 
indications of land are stronger: thus, numerous birds were seen, of 
species found only in the vicinity of land. I therefore feel satisfied 
that although we failed from want of sufficient time for a thorough 
search, land will be found at some future day within the space just 

On the 19th of April we had a sudden change of the wind from the 
southward to the northwest, accompanied with a heavy head sea. 
The temperature fell ten degrees within half an hour : the barometer 
stood at 30-20 in. On the 20th, a hawk was taken, while regaling 
himself upon a small land-bird. Many flocks of small birds were 
seen, as well as frigate-birds and quantities of villula, which gave 
the ocean the appearance of being covered with cinders. They were 


quite as numerous as described by Vancouver, and continued to be 
seen in large quantities for the distance of six hundred miles. 

On the 23d April, I changed my course again, to avoid running over 
that portion of sea which had been already traversed by others, and 
on that day we saw several flocks of small birds, like snipe in appear- 
ance. The wind favoured us, and carried us forward at a rapid rate. 

In latitude 42 N., longitude 149 W., we lost sight of all the villula, 
and the thermometer fell to 51. At night we had a heavy dew, and 
the temperature was as low as 46. We now experienced a strong 
current setting to the southward and eastward. Petrels and albatrosses 
were seen in abundance. 

On the 28th of April, at 6 A. M., we made Cape Disappointment, 
which we soon came up w T ith. A heavy sea, caused by the strong 
winds that had prevailed for several days, was running. I, notwith- 
standing, stood for the bar of the Columbia river, after making every 
preparation to cross it ; but on approaching nearer, I found breakers 
extending from Cape Disappointment to Point Adams, in one unbroken 

I am at a loss to conceive how any doubt should ever have existed, 
that here was the mouth of the mighty river, whose existence was 
reported so long before the actual place of its discharge was known, 
or how the inquiring mind and talent of observation of Vancouver 
could have allowed him to hesitate, when he must have seen the 
evidence of a powerful flood of fresh water contending with the tides 
of the ocean, in a bar turbulent with breakers, in turbid waters extend- 
ing several miles beyond the line of the shore, and in the marked line 
of separation between the sea and river water. Such appearances 
must be constant, and if seen, the inferences could hardly be question- 
able, that the great river of the west poured itself into the ocean at 
this point. 

Mere description can give little idea of the terrors of the bar of the 
Columbia : all who have seen it have spoken of the wildness of the 
scene, and the incessant roar of the waters, representing it as one of 
the most fearful sights that can possibly meet the eye of the sailor. 
The difficulty of its channel, the distance of the leading sailing marks, 
their uncertainty to one unacquainted with them, the want of know- 
ledge of the strength and direction of the currents, with the necessity 
of approaching close to unseen dangers, the transition from clear to 
turbid water, all cause doubt and mistrust. 

Under such feelings I must confess that I felt myself labouring; and, 
although I had on board a person from the Sandwich Islands who pro- 



fessed to be a Columbia river pilot, I found him at a loss to designate 
the true passage, and unable to tell whether we were in a right way 
or not. I therefore, at once, determined to haul off with the tide, 
which was running ebb with great rapidity, and which soon carried us 
back into the blue water of the ocean, to wait there until the sea on 
the bar had in some measure subsided. 

The land near the mouth of the river is well marked, and cannot 
readily be mistaken, and on the summit of the two capes are several 
lofty spruce and pine trees, which the officers of the Hudson Bay 
Company have caused to be trimmed of branches nearly to their tops. 
These serve as conspicuous marks, but our pilot was ignorant of their 
relation to the channel. 

Our passage from Oahu had been no more than twenty-two days, 
which is unusually short. The first part of it, until we passed in lati- 
tude 28 N., beyond the influence of the trades and variables, had been, 
as already stated, attended with light and contrary winds. 

The temperature of the air had fallen from 78 to 43, and that of 
the sea to 46. 

During the night we had boisterous weather, and the ship was very 
uncomfortable, in consequence of her shipping water in considerable 
quantities through the hawse-holes, w r hich flooded her gun-deck. As, 
in conformity with my determination to wait until the surf on the bar 
should have subsided, the anchors would not be needed for some days, 
I ordered the chain cables to be unbent, which would permit the hawse- 
holes to be closed. 

During the night, I took into consideration the loss of time that must 
arise from awaiting an opportunity to cross the bar, and after due 
reflection came to the conclusion that it would be better to proceed at 
once to the Straits of Juan de Fuca, and there begin my work on this 
coast. At daylight, therefore, (bearings of the cape had been taken 
the night previously and our position carefully calculated, and a course 
steered to run along the coast,) I spoke the Porpoise, and immediately 
bore away to the northward. Signal was then made to her to follow. 
Both vessels then proceeded at the rate of eight or ten miles an 

The weather was very thick, and the wind south-southwest. At 
ten o'clock the Porpoise was close under our lee-quarter. I was 
myself below, when I was informed by the officer of the deck that we 
had entered disturbed water. A number of birds were around the 
vessels, and a cast of the lead gave fifteen fathoms. By the time I 
reached the deck, land was seen through the haze, close aboaid. 


The ship was at once brought by the wind and all the studding-sails 
taken in. 

The same discovery was made on board the Porpoise, and she was 
in the act of communicating it by signal. Neither of the vessels now 
had much water under their keels, and both were in imminent danger. 
We owed our safety to Ihe good qualities of the vessels, which were 
on this occasion very evident, and to the conduct of the officers and 
crew, whose promptness and attention to the execution of the orders 
deserve my highest praise, and reflect great credit on their discipline. 

Our situation caused me much anxiety for a short time ; and this 
was one of the many hair-breadth escapes from wreck, incident to 
this cruise. The difficulty of our position was enhanced by the heavy 
sea we had to encounter, into which the vessels plunged so heavily as 
to endanger our spars. The same cause had prevented us from bend- 
ing the chain cables, so that we had no means of anchoring until after 
we had passed the most dangerous points. 

We had several casts of the lead in five, six, seven, eight, and nine 

In examining into the cause of our being found so unexpectedly in 
this position, I am led to believe that there is a current that sets upon 
the coast : and in this I was confirmed by trials made afterwards. 

Soon after we were out of danger, it cleared up sufficiently to give 
us a view of the land, which proved to be Point Grenville of Vancou- 
ver, and Destruction Isle. The latter is easily known by some remark- 
able perforations through a rock near it. 

Near Point Grenville, several accidents have happened, both to 
English and Russian vessels ; and a boat's crew belonging to one of 
the latter, was inhumanly massacred by the Indians. 

It was also near this spot, that the very remarkable occurrence of 
the wreck of a Japanese junk happened in the year 1833. The officers 
of the Hudson Bay Company became aware of this disaster in a sin- 
gular manner. They received a drawing on a piece of China-paper, 
in which were depicted three shipwrecked persons, with the junk on 
the rocks, and the Indians engaged in plundering. This was sufficient 
to induce them to make inquiries ; and Captain M'Niel was despatched 
to Cape Flattery to obtain further information, and afford relief, should 
it be needed. 

He had the satisfaction to find the three Japanese, whom he rescued 
from slavery; and the Hudson Bay Company with characteristic 
liberality, sent them to England. Thence they took -passage to China, 
where I understand they still remain, in consequence of their being 
unable to obtain a passage to Japan 


As a memorial of this extraordinary incident, porcelain of Japanese 
manufacture, \vhich was purchased from the Indians who plundered 
the junk, was seen in possession of Mr. Burnie, the agent of the Hudson 
Bay Company, at Astoria. 

On the 29th and part of the 30th, we had light airs and calms, so 
that we made little or no progress. In the afternoon of the 30th, the 
breeze freshened and carried us briskly to our destination. While 
thus proceeding, a large canoe, containing about twenty Indians, en- 
deavoured to board us ; but I was too anxious to reach an anchorage 
to regard their desires. 

I was in hopes that the wind would continue fair, and enable us to 
have reached Neah Harbour ere night ; but as we approached Cape 
Flattery and opened the Straits of Fuca, it became contrary. We 
were therefore compelled to pass the night, which proved dark and 
rainy, under way. We had but little knowledge of the dangers that 
might surround us ; but our frequent tacks throughout the night showed 
us that but few existed at the mouth of the straits. 

The coast of Oregon, to the south of Cape Flattery, is rocky, much 
broken, and affords no harbours, except for very small vessels. It 
may therefore be considered as extremely dangerous, and particularly 
on account of its outlying rocks. The soundings on this coast, 
however, I afterwards discovered, may serve as a sure indication by 
which danger may be avoided, and safety may be insured by not 
approaching the coast into soundings of less than seventy fathoms. 

On the morning of the 1st of May, we found ourselves well into 
the straits ; and as I proposed to defer the survey of this part of them 
until my return, we hastened to reach Port Discovery, where we 
anchored at half-past 6 p. M. on the 2d of May ; just forty-nine years 
after Vancouver, pursuing the track of De Fuca, had visited the same 

The Straits of Juan de Fuca may be safely navigated. The wind 
will for the greater part of the year be found to blow directly through 
them, and generally outwards: this wind is at times very violent 
The shores of the strait are bold, and anchorage is to be found in but 
few places. We could not obtain bottom in some places with sixty 
fathoms of line, even within a boat's length of the shore. 

The south shore is composed of perpendicular sandy cliffs, that run 
back into high and rugged peaks, and is covered with a forest of 
various species of pines, that rises almost to the highest points of the 
range of mountains. The highest points themselves are covered with 
snow ; and among them Mount Olympus was conspicuous, rising to 
an altitude of eight thousand one hundred and thirty-eight feet. 


The north shore is rocky, and composed, as far as we could examine 
it of conglomerate, and in some few places of a reddish granite. 

In the morning we were boarded by a large canoe, with Indians 
who spoke a few words of English ; and we had occasion to notice 
the wide difference between them and the Polynesians, both in lan- 
guage and appearance. No contrast can be more striking than this. 
They seemed to have scarcely any idea of decency, and to be little 
less elevated in their moral qualities than the Fuegians. 

The principal man of the party was dressed in a coarse coat of red 
cloth, with the Hudson Bay Company's buttons, and corduroy trou- 
sers. He had neither shirt, shoes, nor hat, although the rain was fall- 
ing fast. The others were habited in blankets or skins, and wore 
conical grass hats, resembling in shape those of the Chinese. 

The first inquiry was, whether we were Boston or King George's 
ships, by which terms they distinguish Americans and English. 

They brought with them for sale some fish and a few furs. On th*> 
latter they appeared to set a high value, and were not a little disap- 
pointed when they learned that we had no desire to purchase them. 
They readily parted with their fine fish for a few fish-hooks and a little 

These Indians were short, thick-set, bow-legged, muscular, and 
seemed capable of enduring great fatigue. The most obvious pecu 
liarity was the shape of their heads, which appeared to have been 
compressed, both before and behind, so as to give them the form of a 
wedge. Their cheek-bones were high, and their eyes, which were 
fine, were set wide apart: their colour was a light copper. The 
oblique eye of the Chinese was not uncommon, and they had long 
flowing hair : aquiline or Roman noses were prevalent. Their coun- 
tenances wore an expression of wildness, and they had, in the opinion 
of some of us, a melancholy cast of features. 

It was amusing to us, who had no very exalted opinion of the Fee- 
jeeans, to observe the contempt our prisoner Vendovi entertained for 
these Indians, which was such that he would hardly deign to look at 

They manifested little curiosity, which was not excited even by the 
appearance of a ship so much larger than any they could have before 
seen, armed and manned in a manner so superior to what is usual in 
the vessels that visit them for traffic. 

They wore but few ornaments, and that on which they seemed to 
set the greatest value was a small silver tube stuck through the carti- 
lage of the nose. A few of them had small brass bells suspended 
around the rim of their ears. 

VOL. iv. 38 


Their language was one of the most disagreeable we had yet heard 
full of gutturals, and the sounds klick, kluck, and tsck. 

Late in the afternoon, we reached and weathered the low sana- 
point, called by Vancouver New Dungeness, and stood over for his 
Protection Island. We passed within less than a quarter of a mile of 
the point, where we had three and a half fathoms water. 

After passing that island, an extensive bay opened, on whose shores 
we saw the long poles mentioned by Vancouver, and represented in 
his book. The use of these he was unable to discover, but the Indians 
informed us that they were for the purpose of suspending nets for 
taking the wild-fowl that frequent these shores in great numbers. On 
these poles the nets are set up at night, at which time the geese search 
these grounds for food: fires are then lighted, which alarm the birds, 
and cause them to fly against the nets, by which they are thrown upon 
the ground, where, before they have time to recover themselves, they 
are caught and killed. 

The description of Vancouver is so exactly applicable to the present 
state of this port, that it was difficult to believe that almost half a cen- 
tury had elapsed since it was written. The beautiful woods and lawns 
of Protection Island, in particular, exist unchanged. The lawns still 
produce the same beautiful flowers and shrubs, and although closely 
surrounded by dense woods, do not seem to have been encroached 
upon by their luxuriant growth, although there is no apparent reason 
why it should not long ere this have overrun them. 

Our anchorage in Port Discovery was close to the shore, in twenty- 
seven fathoms water. It is a well-protected harbour, and very con- 
venient of access, but the depth of water and the high precipitous 
banks, would almost preclude its being made the seat of a settlement. 

The name of Port Discovery was given by Vancouver. It is eight 
miles long, two miles in average width, and its points, which terminate 
in low sandy projections, interlock each other. The shores are sup- 
plied with large quantities of shell-fish. Protection Island covers it 
completely to the north, and would render it easily defensive against 
the most formidable attack. The only objection to it as a harbour is 
that already spoken of, the great depth of the water, which in the 
middle is no where less than forty or fifty fathoms, and is often as 
much as sixteen fathoms close to the shore. 

The Indians whom we found dwelling here are of the Clalam tribe. 
They occupy a few miserable lodges on one of the points, and are a 
most filthy race, so much so indeed that to enter their lodges is abso- 
lutely disgusting. They are no more than a few rudely-cut slabs, 
covered in part by coarse mats. 


There is no permanent settlement of Indians at Port Discovery, and 
during our stay \ve had visitors from the various neighbouring tribes. 
The two sexes of all who visited us were dressed almost alike, and can 
hardly be distinguished in external appearance from each other: both 
wear their hair long, and both are equally dirty. All the adults have 
their heads much flattened, which appears to be performed as it is 
among the more southern tribes, by compressing the frontal and occi- 
pital bones by several thicknesses of bark, until they become set, and 
the head takes a permanent shape. 

Their children seem to give them but little trouble : in their infancy 
they are tied to a piece of bark, which is hung to a tree or pole, where 
it is kept in motion by a string fastened to the toe of the mother, as is 
represented in the wood-cut at the end of the chapter. 

These Indians appear to have but few of the comforts, and barely 
the necessaries of life. They live principally on fish, shell-fish, the 
cammass-root, and potatoes. They have muskets and bows and 
arrows : the bows are short and small, but possess great strength, and 
are made of yew : their arrows are pointed with ii*on or bone. 

They also possess large sheath-knives, which they procure from the 
Hudson Bay Company, in exchange for furs, and from the same 
source they obtain blankets. For these articles the Company has a 
regular tarift'of prices, which however, is not adhered to when a Boston 
ship arrives. The natives are sufficiently alive to the advantages 
they derive from competition, and boasted that in such cases they 
frequently obtained four or five blankets for articles that usually bring 
them only one. It was the hope of so advantageous a traffic that 
caused so much satisfaction when we arrived, and the failure of this 
hope produced, as we have seen, no little disappointment. 

They are not, however, wholly dependent on this trade for their 
clothing, for some of the tribes manufacture a sort of blanket from 
dogs' hair, which is substantially woven. 

During our stay at Port Discovery, they supplied us plentifully with 
venison, ducks, geese, salmon, a large species of cod, flounders, her- 
rings, and crabs. They also brought shell-fish, among which were 
the common clam, (the quahog of the Eastern States,) mussels, and 
small oysters. 

Besides the ornaments we saw among our first visiters, some wam- 
pum-belts and strings of dentalium-shells were observed. They have 
a great passion for carved pipes, for which they cultivate small quan- 
tities of a species of tobacco. They also smoke the leaves of the 
dwarf Arbutus mixed with their tobacco : these are powerful astrin 
gents, and are also frequently chewed. 


The colour of the younger natives is almost white, so much so as to 
show the blush on the cheek ; and some of the women would with 
difficulty be distinguished in colour from those of European race. 
The women are to be seen weaving mats, after the Chinese fashion, of 
bullrushes (Scirpus lacustris), which they place side by side and fasten 
together at intervals. These are used, as has been stated, to cover the 
framework of their lodges. 

Instead of the silver tube which has been spoken of, the women 
have a white bone stuck through the cartilage of their noses. This 
is kept bright, and may be said to be the only clean thing about their 
persons. The whole burden of domestic occupation is thrown upon 
them, for the men are to be seen lounging about the whole day in the 
sun, and spend their nights in gambling. 

The canoes of this region differ from any thing we had seen on the 
voyage. They are made from a single trunk, and have a shape that 
may be considered elegant, and which is preserved from change by 
stretching or warping by means of thwarts. The sides are exceed- 
ingly thin, seldom exceeding three-fourths of an inch, and they are 
preserved with great care, being never suffered to lie exposed to the 
sun, for fear of rents and cracks. When these do occur, the canoe is 
mended in a very ingenious manner ; holes are made in the sides, 
through which withes are passed and pegged in such a way that the 
strain will draw it tighter; the withe is then crossed, and the end 
secured in the same manner. When the tying is finished, the whole 
is pitched with the gum of the pine. This is neatly done, and answers 
the purpose well. 


Although the natives we saw at Port Discovery appeared to be a 
peaceable race, the neighbouring tribes are frequently at war, and 
spoke of scalping, and other exploits, as practised by our own abori- 

Apprehensive that difficulties similar to those we met with in the 
Feejee Group might, possibly occur with these Indians, I deemed it 
expedient to issue the following order. 



The undersigned informs the officers and crews under his command, 
that the duties upon which they are about to enter will necessarily 
bring them in contact at times with the savage and treacherous in- 
habitants of this coast; and he therefore feels it his duty to enjoin 
upon them the necessity of unceasing caution, and a restrictive and 
mild system in all their intercourse with them. 

In my General Order of July 13th, 1839, my views are expressed 
fully respecting our intercourse with savages, and I expect that the 
injunctions therein contained will be strictly regarded. 

With a knowledge that many of the misfortunes that have befallen 
previous voyagers on this coast, have arisen from an unrestrained and 
unguarded intercourse with the natives, he deems it important to order 
officers in charge of boats, and those having men under their direc- 
tion, to make it their especial duty to govern them so as to avoid any 
disputes or maltreatment of the Indians, and that force is never to be 
resorted to but in cases of self-defence. 

No officer or man will be allowed to visit the shore without arms ; 
and boats' crews, when surveying or on other duty, will be furnished 
with such as are necessary for their protection. 

Commanding Exploring Expedition. 
U. S. Ship Vincennes, 

May 1st, 1840. 

We remained at Port Discovery until 6th May, during which time 
we were employed in surveying the harbour and exploring the country. 
Our botanists had a large and interesting field opened to them, and 
there are few places where the variety and beauty of the flora are so 
great as they are here. Dodecatheon, Viola, Trifolium, Leptosiphon, 
Scilla (the cammass of the natives), Collinsia, Claytonia, Stellaria, &c., 
vied with each other in beauty, and were in such profusion, as to excite 
both admiration and astonishment. According to Mr. Brackenridge, 
the soil on which the plants grow consists of a light-brown loam, but 
the general character of the soil around Port Discovery is a thin, 
black, vegetable mould, with a substratum of sand and gravel. 

The trees grow so closely that in some places the woods are almost 
impenetrable. The timber consists principally of pine, fir, and spruce. 
Of the latter there are two species, one of which resembles the hem 
lock-spruce of the United States : it has a very tall growth, and puts 
out but few, and those small, lateral branches. Some maple-trees 



grow in the open grounds and on the banks, but they are too small to 
be of any service to the settler. Several trees which we cut down to 
make spars for the Vincennes, proved, although healthy in appearance 
before they were felled, to be more or less defective : the wood was 
sound and compact on one side only, while on the other it was open- 
grained and fibrous. 

Several of the officers made excursions into the woods after game. 
In these they found much difficulty, in consequence of the quantity of 
fallen trees, that lay crossing each other in every direction. No large 
game, however, was seen. Of birds, crows, robins, &c., were in 
abundance; and some beautiful specimens of land-shells (Helices) 
were obtained. 

Soon after our arrival at Port Discovery, I despatched an Indian 
with a letter to the fort of the Hudson Bay Company at Nisqually, at 
the upper end of Puget Sound, to request that a pilot might be sent 
me. My interview with the native whom I employed for this purpose 
was amusing. He appeared of a gay and lively disposition : the first 
thing he did, when brought into the cabin, was to show me a cross 
and repeat his ave, which he did with great readiness and apparent 
devotion ; but he burst into loud laughter as soon as he had finished 
repeating it. He and I made many efforts to understand each other, 
but without much success, except so far as the transmission of the 
letter to Fort Nisqually, and the reward he was to receive on his 

In the excursions of the officers, several burial-places were met with. 
The corpses are not interred ; but are wrapped in mats and placed 
upon the ground in a sitting posture, and surrounded with stakes and 
pieces of plank to protect them from the weather and wild beasts. 

On the 5th of May, the officers were all engaged in surveying, 
while I occupied one of the points as a station, where I made astrono- 
mical and magnetic observations. I found the latitude 48 02' 58" N.; 
the longitude 123 02' 07-5" W.; the variation was 20 40' E. 

The temperature in the shade, was 55. 

On the 6th of May, finding that the messenger whom I had 
despatched to Fort Nisqually did not return, I determined to proceed 
towards that place without further delay. We therefore got under 
way at half-past ten, and beat out of Port Discovery : we then stood 
towards Point Wilson (of Vancouver), which forms one side of the 
entrance into Admiralty Inlet. Turning the point, we entered the inlet, 
and soon anchored in Port Townsend, on its northern side, in ten 
fathoms water. 

Port Townsend is a fine sheet of water, three miles and a quarter 


in length, by one mile and three quarters in width. Opposite to our 
anchorage is an extensive table-land, free from wood, and which would 
afford a good site for a town. 

The bay is free from dangers and is well protected from the 
quarters whence stormy winds blow. It has anchorage of a conve- 
nient depth ; and there is abundance of fresh water to be had. 

In the afternoon, we landed and examined the table-land. The next 
day we were engaged in surveying the bay, which we commenced at 
an early hour. Our base was measured on a straight and level beach, 
nearly a mile in length, upon the north shore. At the extreme west 
end of the bay, we found a lodge or two of Indians. In each of these, 
there were apparently three or four families ; and they had a patch of 
potatoes growing. 

The soil in this place is a light sandy loam, and appears to be very 
productive : it was covered with wild flowers, and strawberry plants 
in blossom. 

From this point, Mount Baker is distinctly seen to the northeast, 
and forms a fine sight when its conical peak is illuminated by the 
setting sun. 

On the 7th, we had completed the survey; but the wind coming 
up from the southward and eastward, which was contrary to our 
intended course, we determined to remain. At noon, there was a 
favourable change, when both vessels moved up about eight miles, and 
anchored in what I called Port Lawrence. This is just at the entrance 
of Hood's Canal, and gave us a view both of it and Admiralty Inlet. 
The weather was unpleasant, and the only duty that could be performed 
was that of dredging. Several new and interesting specimens were 
thus taken. The natives brought us fish and venison in plenty, besides 
geese and ducks. 

On the morning of the 8th, we made the survey of Port Lawrence, 
beginning at daylight. This being completed, I took advantage of the 
tide making to get under way with a fresh breeze, and passed with 
both vessels as far as a small cove on the west side of the inlet opposite 
to the south end of Whidby's Island. Here we anchored before sunset, 
and I named it Pilot's Cove, from the circumstance of having been 
here joined by the first officer of the Hudson Bay Company's steamer, 
commanded by Captain M'Niel, who on hearing of our arrival, kindly 
sent him down to pilot up the ship. 

We were under way soon after daylight, taking advantage of the 
tide, and continued beating as long as it lasted. This was about two 
hours, by which time we reached another small cove. This was 
named Apple-tree Cove, from the numbers of that tree which were in 


blossom around its shores. This cove answers well all the purposes 
of a temporary anchorage. Before the tide began to make in our 
favour, we had finished the survey of the cove. We again sailed, and 
at dark anchored under the west shore, near a fine bay ; which the 
next day was surveyed, and named Port Madison. This is an excellent 
harbour, affording every possible convenience for shipping. 

The scenery of this portion of Admiralty Inlet resembles strongly 
parts of the Hudson river, particularly those about Poughkeepsie and 
above that place. The distant highlands, though much more lofty, 
reminded us of the Kaatskills. There were but few lodges of Indians 
seen on our way up ; and the whole line of shore has the appearance 
of never having been disturbed by man. 

The wind proved fair the same afternoon, and we passed up the 
inlet, taking the passage to the right of Vashon's Island, and finally, 
towards evening, anchored just below the narrows leading into Puget 
Sound, within a few yards of the shore and under a high perpendicular 
bank, in sixteen fathoms. 

The shores of all these inlets and bays are remarkably bold ; so 
much so, that in many places a ship's sides would strike the shore 
before the keel would touch the ground. 

On the llth of May, the morning proved calm, of which I took 
advantage to survey this part of the sound, which we accomplished 
before the afternoon, when the tide served us. At 3 p. M. we again 
weighed our anchors, but had great difficulty in getting beyond the 
reach of the eddy winds occasioned by the high banks. The scenery 
about this pass becomes very fine : on all sides are high projecting 
bluffs of sandstone, rising almost perpendicularly from the water, with 
a great variety of shrubs along their base. The tide, which runs 
through the narrows with great velocity, causes many eddies and 
whirlpools, through which a ship is carried with extraordinary 
rapidity, while the danger seems to be imminent. The Porpoise 
succeeded in entering the narrows first, and in a few minutes was lost 
sight of; the Vincennes entered, and seemed at first to be hurrying to 
destruction, with her sails quite aback. We were carried onward 
wholly by the force of the tide, and had backed and filled only once 
before we found ourselves in as spacious a sound as the one we had 
just left. This narrow pass seems as if intended by its natural faci- 
lities to afford every means for its perfect defence. 

Twelve miles more brought us to the anchorage off Nisqually, 
where both vessels dropped their anchors about eight o'clock. Here 
we found an English steamer undergoing repairs. Soon after we 
anchored, I had the pleasure of a visit from Mr. Anderson, who is in 


charge of the fort, and Captain M'Neil. 'They gave me a warm 
welcome, and offered every assistance in their power to aid me in my 

Nothing can exceed the beauty of these waters, and their safety : 
not a shoal exists within the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Admiralty Inlet, 
Puget Sound, or Hood's Canal, that can in any way interrupt their 
navigation by a seventy-four gun ship. I venture nothing in saying, 
there is no country in the world that possesses waters equal to these. 

The anchorage off Nisqually is very contracted, in consequence of 
the rapid shelving of the bank, that soon drops off into deep water. 
The shore rises abruptly, to a height of about two hundred feet, and 
on the top of the ascent is an extended plain, covered with pine, oak, 
and ash trees, scattered here and there so as to form a park -like scene. 
The hill-side is mounted by a well-constructed road, of easy ascent. 
From the summit of the road the view is beautiful, over the sound and 
its many islands, with Mount Olympus covered with snow for a back- 
ground. Fort Nisqually, with its out-buildings and enclosure, stands 
back about half a mile from the edge of the table-land. 

In the morning I found that the ship lay opposite to a small run of 
water, and finding the situation an agreeable one, the Vincennes was 
safely moored there, and the boats hoisted out. 

Having arranged my plans, I proceeded forthwith to put so much 
of them as lay within my own means into execution : the Porpoise and 
boats were prepared for surveying, and the land parties organized. 
Other parts of my proposed plans depended on the co-operation of the 
Peacock. My instructions, for this purpose, to Captain Hudson had 
been prepared previous to our arrival. I had, also, been informed that 
the Peacock and Flying-Fish had reached the Columbia river in safety ; 
and this news, although it turned out to be untrue, was for the moment 
a source of congratulation. 

The Porpoise, with two of the Vincennes' boats, under Lieutenant- 
Commandant Ringgold, were directed to take up the survey of Admi- 
ralty Inlet. The launch, first, cutter and two boats of the Vincennes 
were placed under the command of Lieutenant Case, to survey 
Hood's Canal.* The land party intended to explore the interior, was 
placed under the command of Lieutenant Johnson of the Porpoise. 
With him were associated Dr. Pickering, Mr. T. W. Waldron of the 
Porpoise, Mr. Brackenridge, Sergeant Stearns, and two men. Eighty 
days were allowed for the operations of this party, which it was in- 
tended should cross the Cascade range of mountains, towards the 

* For orders, sec Appendix XI 
VOL. IV. 2A2 39 


Columbia, proceed thence to Fort Colville, thence south to Lapwai, 
the mission station on the Kooskooskee river, thence to Wallawalla, 
and returning by the way of the Yakima river, repass the mountains 
to Nisqually. (The orders are given in Appendix XII.) 

The other land party consisted of Messrs. Drayton and Waldron of 
the Vincennes, myself, and two servants. Our intended route lay 
across the country to the Columbia river. First, I proposed to visit 
Astoria, then Fort Vancouver, and the Willamette settlement, and to 
proceed up the river as far as Wallawalla. From Astoria I proposed 
to send parties from the Peacock into the interior, and to set on foot 
the survey of the Columbia river, by means of her boats. 

The establishment of an observatory also claimed my attention : a 
suitable site was found on the top of the hill, within hail of the ship. 
Here the instruments and clocks were landed, and put up in a small 
clearing, whence the trees had been cut in order to supply the steamer 
with fuel. 

All these preparations occupied us until the 15th, when the brig was 
reported as ready, and sailed the same day. During the above interval 
I had the pleasure of visits from Dr. Richmond and Mr. Wilson, of the 
Methodist Mission, stationed at this place. 

In returning the visits of Mr. Anderson and Captain M'Niel, I had 
an opportunity of seeing the so-called fort. It is constructed of pickets, 
enclosing a space about two hundred feet square, with four corner 
bastions. Within this enclosure are the agents' stores, and about half 
a dozen houses, built of logs, and roofed with bark. This fort was con- 
sidered quite large when it was first established, but since it has become 
an agricultural post as well as a trading one, it is found to be too 
small. Its locality is also ill chosen, on account of the difficulty of 
obtaining water, which has to be brought from a distance of nearly a 
mile. I was informed that there was now little necessity for any sort 
of protection against the Indians, who are but few in number, and very 
peaceably disposed. 

Mr. Anderson and Captain M'Niel both reside in the fort with their 
families : both are married to half-breeds, and have several fine children. 
After spending some time in conversing about my plans, Mr. Anderson 
was kind enough to show me his garden, which is in an enclosure just 
without the pickets. Here I saw peas a foot high, strawberries and 
gooseberries in full bloom, and some of the former nearly ripe, with 
salad that had gone to seed, three feet high, very large and thrifty. 

Near by were to be seen fine fields of grain, large barns and sheep- 
folds, agricultural implements, and workmen with cattle engaged in the 
various employments of husbandry. 


I also visited Dr. Richmond, who had been settled here for some 
months, and occupies a nice log house, built on the borders of one of 
the beautiful prairies. Here I found Mrs. Richmond and Mrs. Wilson, 
with four fine, rosy, and fat children, whose appearance spoke volumes 
for the health of the climate. This mission has but recently been 
established : so far as respects its prospects, they are not very flattering. 
I shall have occasion hereafter to allude to the operations of the 
missions, and shall therefore defer any farther remarks at present. The 
location of the mission-house, on the borders of an extensive and beau- 
tiful prairie, can scarcely be surpassed, and would be admirably 
adapted for a large settlement, if the soil was in any respect equal to 
its appearance. This is composed of a light-brown earth, intermixed 
with a large proportion of gravel and stones : it requires an abundance 
of rain to bring any crop to perfection, and this rarely falls during the 
summer months. At the season when we arrived, nothing could be 
more beautiful, or to appearance more luxuriant than the plains, which 
were covered with flowers of every colour and kind : among these were 
to be seen Ranunculus, Scilla, Lupines, Collinsia, and Balsa moriza (a 
small sunflower peculiar to Oregon) ; but the soil is quite thin, and 
barely sufficient for these in many places. The best land occurs where 
the prairies are intersected or broken by belts of woods, that have a 
dense undergrowth, consisting of Hazel, Spirrea, Cornus, and Prunus. 
On the borders of these belts are scattered oaks and some ash, arbutus, 
birch, and poplars, and in some places the yew is to be found ; but the 
predominant character of the vegetation is of the tribe of Coniferas, 
which seem to occupy large ranges of the country, and among which 
the cedar is found to attain a large size. 

In connexion with the Company's establishment at Nisqually, they 
have a large dairy, several hundred head of cattle, and among them 
seventy milch cows, which yield a large supply of butter and cheese : 
they have also large crops of wheat, peas, and oats, and were preparing 
the ground for potatoes. These operations are conducted by a farmer 
and dairyman, brought from England expressly to superintend these 
affairs. A few Indians are engaged in attending the flocks, and the 
Company's servants are almost exclusively employed as labourers. 

I have mentioned these agricultural establishments as connected 
with the Hudson Bay Company, and they are in reality so ; but as 
their charter precludes their engaging in these operations, another 
company has been organized, under the title of the "Puget Sound 
Company," the shares of which are held by the officers, agents, and 
servants of the Hudson Bay Company, and its officers are exclusively 
chosen from among them. Dr. M'Laughlin, for instance, chief officer 


and governor of Fort Vancouver, on the part of the Hudson Bay 
Company, is also a director of the Puget Sound Company, and has 
the entire management of its concerns : his salary is five hundred 

The capital of the Puget Sound Company is five hundred thousand 
pounds, divided into shares of one hundred pounds each: only two 
hundred thousand pounds of this have been paid in. The operations 
of this Company are in consequence large: they began by making 
large importations of stock from California, and some of the best 
breeds of cattle from England ; they have also entered into farming 
on an extensive scale, using as labourers the servants of the Hudson 
Bay Company, who are bound by their contracts to do all manner of 
service that may be required of them, even to the bearing of arms. 

This Company have the supplying of all the forts and stations of the 
Hudson Bay Company on the west side of the American continent, 
and also furnish the Russian ports with grain, butter, and cheese : of 
the former article the Russians take about fifteen thousand bushels. It 
is also their intention, when they shall have succeeded in breeding a 
sufficient stock of cattle and sheep, to export hides, horns, tallow, and 
wool, to England, in the return ships, which now go home compara- 
tively empty, as the furs occupy only a small portion of the capacity 
of the ship. In this way it may readily be perceived that they will be 
enabled to drive a profitable trade, particularly when it is considered 
how little care the cattle require in this territory, in consequence of the 
grass and natural hay which the soil affords at all seasons. It is the 
prospect of the advantageous results to be derived from these operations, 
that has induced the Hudson Bay Company to change their trading 
establishments into large agricultural ones. For some years previous 
to our arrival, they had not been able to meet their own wants, and at 

the same time fulfil their contracts with the Russians. They were 


therefore obliged to purchase from the settlers in the territory, aVwell 
as send to California, to procure the requisite quantity of agricultural 
products. A demand was consequently created for wheat, and all 
that could be raised in the Willamette settlements was bought for six 
shillings (seventy-five cents) a bushel, and paid for in drafts on their 
stores in goods, at fifty per cent, advance on the first London cost. 
This gave an encouragement to the small farmers, that was fated to 
meet with grievous disappointment the next season ; for the Company 
was able not only to meet their engagements, and their own wants, 
but had, besides, a surplus. The prices consequently would be merely 
nominal, unless raised by the influx of new settlers. Whether the 
latter cause had any effect in creating a market, I know not ; but I 


understand that in 1842 some of the settlers fed their horses upon their 
finest wheat. 

The scenery around Nisqually is very much enhanced in beauty by 
the splendid appearance of Mount Rainier, which lies nearly east of it ; 
and from some of the open prairies there are three of these magnificent 
snowy peaks in sight. They are all nearly regular cones, with cleft 
tops, as though they had a terminal crater on their summit. I was 
exceedingly anxious to make the ascent of one of these, Mount Hood; 
but owing to the non-arrival and loss of the Peacock, I found it impos- 
sible to do so. 

On the 13th May, Mr. Anderson was kind enough to present me 
with two bullocks for the crews, and a quantity of vegetables, for 
which we felt ourselves much indebted. A large supply of milk was 
also sent to us daily from the dairy, and many other little kindnesses 
and attentions were manifested. 

To return Captain M'Niel's visit, I went on board the steamer, 
which is called the Beaver. She is of one hundred and twenty tons 
burden, and fitted with a low-pressure engine, similar to those in use 
in the English boats. She was now very much out of repair, having 
been some years on this station. Her employment was to ply between 
the northern posts with supplies, and bring back the returns of the 
season's trade ; at the same time trading at the different points with 
the Indians. Captain M'Niel is a native of Boston, and was exten- 
sively engaged in the northwest trade. He proved to be a serious 
competitor with the Hudson Bay Company in their business, and was 
in consequence bought off. He is now a trader in the Company's 
service, owning stock, and receiving a share of the dividends ; to 
qualify him for which, it became necessary for him to become a natu- 
ralized British subject. 

The steamer is ill adapted to the services on which she is employed, 
for she consumes a large quantity of fuel, and has not sufficient capa- 
city to carry as much as is necessary for her entire voyage. She is 
therefore obliged to stop at intermediate places to obtain a supply of 
wood, which must be cut by her own crew. She is fitted with a 
suitable armament, barricades, and boarding-nettings, which are 
deemed very essential on the northern coast, where the savage tribes 
are both hostile and numerous. 

On the 17th, the boats left the ship under Lieutenant Case, Messrs. 
Totten, Colvocoressis, and May. I had by this time succeeded in 
establishing the observatory, and had ordered a log house to be built 
to perform the pendulum experiments, and another for the purposes 
of drawing, &c. These I purposed to use on my return from the 


Columbia river trip. Lieutenant Carr, with Lieutenant Budd and Mr. 
Eld, were left in charge of the duty connected with the observatory, 
as well as of the ship. 

Knowing how much time is lost on boat expeditions by the use of 
grog, and the accidents that are liable to occur when a strict watch 
cannot be kept over it, I decided not to send any spirits with the 
party. I am fully persuaded myself, that that portion of the ration is 
unnecessary ; but in order not to deprive any of the sailors of it who 
might deem it essential, Ihad the boats' crews called aft, and found 
that nearly all were in the regular habit of drawing their grog. I 
then offered to any who might wish to continue the use of that part 
of their ration, the option of remaining with the ship, and having their 
places in the boats supplied by others. There was no hesitation on 
the part of any of them : all wished to go ; and all were willing to 
give up their spirit ration. I take this occasion to say, that all the 
most laborious and exposed duty of the Expedition, was performed 
without the spirit ration, and I am well satisfied that it may be dis- 
pensed with without injury to any one, and indeed greatly to the 
benefit of the naval service.* 

The land expedition, under Lieutenant Johnson, was finally ready 
Few can imagine the chafferings, delays, and vexations, attendant 
upon the equipment of a land party in this region: the buying of 
horses from the Indians ; the non-arrival of guides ; the various equip- 
ments necessary for loading the horses, securing the loads to prevent 
injury to the horses' backs, and the loss of them, all consume much 
time, and need continual foresight. Through all these difficulties and 
perplexities, which were of a kind that most tries the patience, Lieu- 
tenant Johnson struggled. An Indian is not slow in perceiving your 
wants, and views the dilemmas in which you may be placed with a 
becoming sang-froid. Mr. Anderson's kindness had obviated many of 
these obstacles ; but it was impossible to proceed without the aid of 
the Indians, who were always prone to recede from their bargains, 
under a feeling that they had not received enough. After the bargain 
was completed, and the price agreed upon, under the form of " pot- 
latch," or "gift," the equivalent was always to be again treated for, 
and thus the price of the article or service was often very much en- 
hanced. In dealing with these Indians, it was always necessary to 
feign a great indifference of manner, in order to obtain the article, 
and also in closing the bargain after the preliminaries are settled. 

* Since our return, Congress has reduced the spirit ration one-half: this is a good step, 
but its total abolishment would be a better one. 


They readily close when they think their customers indifferent, for 
fear of a competitor among themselves, and are not in the habit of 
forming a combination, as they show little or no confidence in each 
other, and are rather disposed to rivalry. As far as our observations 
went, the chiefs have little authority among them. 

Having seen the other parties all off, or ready to start, our party for 
the Columbia river also set out. It was a strange cavalcade, for most 
of us were but sorry horsemen, and we had every variety of accoutre- 
ments, from the saddle and bridle to the bare back and halter. We 
were eight in number: Messrs. Drayton, Waldron, and myself, two 
servants, two Indians, and a Canadian guide, with four pack-horses. 
All the horses and the guide were kindly furnished us by the gentle- 
men at the fort, to carry us as far as Cowlitz Farms, about sixty miles 
distant, where we intended taking canoes. 

Our Indians, though partially clothed in worn-out European cloth- 
ing, still showed their free and easy carriage on horseback : the few 
ribands and cock's feathers that were stuck in their caps gave them 
a flaunting kind of air; and they manifested a species of self-esteem 
that was not unpleasing, and betokened an independence and want of 
care, in good keeping with their mode of life. These savages should 
never be seen but on horseback, in which position they are really men, 
and inspire a certain degree of respect. When dismounted, all these 
qualities vanish, and the Indian becomes the lazy, lounging creature, 
insensible to any excitement but his low gambling propensities. They 
have a peculiar knack in managing their horses, and this, too, without 
any apparent means of controlling them, for their only bridle is a 
single cord fastened to the lower jaw; with this they contrive to 
govern the most refractory animals, without the aid of whip or spur, 
and will urge to speed an animal that has become all but lifeless under 
our guidance. They practise great cruelty to their horses, and pay 
no regard whatever to the state of their backs. In travelling in this 
country, all scruples and feelings in respect to sore backs, jaded, 
lamed, or half-starved horses, must be laid aside ; and my advice is, 
keep away from your horses until they are saddled, and leave this to 
your guides who own them. 

The direction of our route was nearly south over the plain, passing 
occasionally a pretty lawn, and groves of oak and ash trees. At the 
distance of nine miles we reached the river Nisqually, whose channel 
is sunk three hundred feet below the plain, between almost perpen- 
dicular banks. The ravine is about half a mile wide, and is filled with 
a large growth of timber, which is occasionally uprooted by the torrents 
that pass down, on the melting of the snows of the mountains. The 


usual bed of the stream is about one hundred yards wide, with a rapid 
current : its course in this place was north-northwest, and its average 
depth at the ford about three feet. We again ascended a similar bank 
on the opposite side to the plain. Our route then continued through 
most beautiful park scenery, with the prairie now and then opening to 
view, in which many magnificent pines grew detached. The prairie 
was covered with a profusion of flowers. 

After crossing Shute's river, in all respects similar to the Nisqually, 
we encamped, just before night, having travelled about twenty-two 
miles. Our tents were pitched, and fires made ; but on examining our 
alforcas,* we were reminded that we were but novices in such travel- 
ling, for we found that all our small stores had been destroyed in fording 
the streams, the sugar being turned into syrup, &c. This was a mishap 
over which we had a hearty laugh ; it rendered the part that was saved 
doubly precious, and made us enjoy our evening meal. After our tents 
were pitched, one of our servants discovered a snake in the tent, which 
caused him much alarm ; but such a circumstance is considered so 
common, that it excites but little or no surprise in those who have 
travelled in Oregon. The abundance of such reptiles may be con- 
sidered one of the characteristics of the country, and if one is not bitten 
before the end of a journey, he may think himself fortunate. In the 
lower country, however, there are few snakes that are venomous, and 
the rattlesnake is rarely seen, in consequence of the wetness of the soil 
and dampness of the climate : but in the middle section, where it is dry, 
they are to be found in great numbers. 

Being somewhat fatigued, we all slept soundly. The guide and 
Indians, according to the custom of the country, after rolling themselves 
in their blankets, lay down near the fire (which continued to burn 
brightly all night) without any shelter. In the morning we found by 
the tracks that elk and deer had been near us, probably attracted by 
the fire. Our horses having been hobbled, were easily procured: they 
had not strayed, as the grass around the tents was of the most nutritious 

In the morning, when we resumed our journey, the park scenery 
increased in beauty, and it was almost impossible to realize that we 
were in a savage and wild country, and that nature, not art, had per- 
fected the landscape. Beautiful lakes, with greensward growing to the 
water edge, with deer feeding fearlessly on their margin, and every 
tint of flower, many of which were not new to our gardens at home, 
strewn in profusion around ; we could hardly, in galloping along, but 

" A kind of saddle-bag. 



expect to see some beautiful mansion, as a fit accompaniment to such 

We soon reached the Bute Prairies, which are extensive, and covered 
with tumuli or small mounds, at regular distances asunder. As far as 
I could learn, there is no tradition among the natives relative to them. 
They are conical mounds, thirty feet in diameter, about six to seven 
feet high above the level, and many thousands in number. Being 
anxious to ascertain if they contained any relics, I subsequently visited 
these prairies, and opened three of the mounds, but nothing was found 
in them but a pavement of round stones. 

After a ride of twelve miles, we reached Chickeeles river, which 
empties itself into Gray's Harbour, about forty miles north of the 
Columbia. We found the stream about two hundred yards wide in 
this place, and running in a southwest direction. On its banks there 
were a few lodges, containing about twenty Indians of the Nisqually 
tribe, who had come here to make preparations for the salmon-fishery, 
then about to commence, (20th May.) They were a miserable-looking 
set, barely covered with pieces of dirty blankets and skins. 

Subsequently, on my return, I made a sketch of this place, after the 
salmon-fishery had been established, which is represented in the vignette. 

We stopped here for two hours, to rest our horses. Hanging around 


their lodges were hundreds of lamprey eels, from a foot to eighteen 
inches long, and about an inch in diameter. We were told that these, 

VOL. IV. 2B 40 


fish are caught in great quantities, and dried for food ; they are also used 
for candles or torches ; for, being very full of oil, they burn brightly. 

These Indians had a quantity of the cammass-root, which they had 
stored in baskets. It is a kind of sweet squills, and about the size of a 
small onion. It is extremely abundant on the open prairies, and par- 
ticularly on those which are overflowed by the small streams. 

After leaving these lodges, a few yards beyond the soil changed 
from gravel to a rich unctuous clay. We crossed a branch of the 
Chickeeles, and passed over some high hills, which we found exceed- 
ingly difficult to accomplish, being in places quite miry, in which our 
pack-horses not unfrequently were stuck fast: few roads in any country 
could be worse. 

The woods and underbrush now became so thick that it was with 
difficulty that a horse and his rider could pass ; for, whilst the former 
was extricating his legs from the mud-holes, the latter required all his 
attention and exertions to prevent himself from being strangled or 
dragged from his horse by the branches. This was not all : fallen 
trees were to be jumped or hobbled over as we best could, which was 
very exhausting to the patience. Our friends at Nisqually had told 
us we should find this part of the road good, yet we found it barely 
passable. I would, however, advise all who travel this road to prepare 
for a bad one. But what increased the discomfort of the road to 
me, was the news I received by an Indian messenger, with letters an- 
nouncing to me that the Peacock had not yet arrived. 

We finally succeeded in reaching the top of the hill, which is about 
fifteen hundred feet high, by a zigzag path, literally climbed by steps 
which had been made by the horses' feet, and without which it would 
be impossible to mount it in the direction we did, the clay is so 

After reaching the crest of this ridge, we were amply repaid for our 
labour by one of the most charming views I saw in Oregon, extend- 
ing to a distance over the luxuriant country, while at our feet lay one 
of the beautiful prairies, bedecked in every hue of the rainbow, with 
the Chickeeles winding through it. We descended, and passed over 
the prairie to some Indian lodges, whose inhabitants were squalid and 
dirty as usual ; and as an evidence of their want of natural feeling, 
near by lay one of their horses, with one of his fore-legs broke short 
and just hanging by the skin. To the question, why they did not kill 
the horse, they gave no answer, but looked at the interpreter with 
apparent contempt and listlessness. Desirous of avoiding the lodges, 
with their inmates and vermin, we proceeded about a mile beyond 
them, and encamped on the edge of a fine forest of pines. 


Notwithstanding a hard rain fell during the night, we passed it very 
comfortably. The Indians supplied us with some fresh salmon, which 
they had already begun to take in the rivers that were in sight from 
our encampment. They reported that the river was navigable for 
canoes, though occasional obstructions were met with from fallen 

Mr. Dray ton found here some beautiful pieces of cornelian, of large 
size and bright red colour. 

The morning proved beautiful, and one of the finest days succeeded 
that I ever remember to have seen. Our route lay through alternate 
woods and prairies, the former composed of large pines and cedars. 
Several considerable streams of water were passed, whose banks were 
not so high as those before met with ; the latter covered with straw- 
berries, so tempting as to induce us to dismount and feast upon them, 
and many plants that excited a feeling of interest, and reminded us of 
home : among the number was the red honeysuckle (Caprifolium), 
which was in full bloom. After passing extensive cammass plains, 
we reached the Company's farm on the Cowlitz, which occupies an 
extensive prairie on the banks of that river. 

They have here six or seven hundred acres enclosed, and under 
cultivation, with several large granaries, a large farm-house, and 
numerous out-buildings to accommodate the dairy, workmen, cattle, 
&c. The grounds appear well prepared, and were covered with a 
luxuriant crop of wheat. At the farther end of the prairie was to be 
seen a settlement, with its orchards, &c., and between the trees, the 
chapel and parsonage of the Catholic Mission gave an air of civiliza- 
tion to the whole. The degree of progress resembled that of a settle- 
ment of several years' standing in our Western States, with the 
exception, however, of the remains of the conquered forest ; for here 
the ground is ready for the plough, and nature seems as it were to 
invite the husbandman to his labours. 

We were kindly received by Mr. Forrest, the superintendent, who 
quickly made arrangements for canoes to carry us down the Cowlitz 
and Columbia river to Astoria, or Fort George. He also provided us 
with an excellent repast, and pressed us to remain over night, which 
we would gladly have done, had I not found that it would be impos- 
sible for us to reach Astoria the next day if we did so. 

At this farm the Company have a large dairy, and are about erect- 
ing a saw and grist mill. The superintendent's dwelling is large, and 
built of well-hewn logs; with the workmen's houses, &c., it forms 
quite a village. 

Large numbers of cattle were being brought in for the night, which 


is a very necessary precaution in Oregon, in consequence of the 
numerous wolves that are prowling about ; in some places it becomes 
necessary for the keeper to protect his beasts even in the daytime. 
The cattle, at times, suffer from drought, in which case the Indians 
are sent across the river to cut fodder for them, in order to avoid 
sending the cattle to the cammass plains, where they would be subject 
to the loss of all their young. 

The farm at the Cowlitz has no sort of defences about it, proving, 
as far as the Indians are concerned, that there is no danger of being 
molested : indeed their numbers here are too small to enable them to 
attempt any aggression, and their dependence on the Company, for 
both food and clothing, too complete to allow them to quarrel, except 
among themselves ; and of such disputes the agent of the Company 
takes no sort of notice. The Indians belong to the Klackatack tribe, 
though they have obtained the general name of the Cowlitz Indians. 
In a few years they will have passed away, and even now, I was in- 
formed, there are but three Indian women remaining in the tribe. The 
mortality that has attacked them of late has made sad .ravages ; for 
only a few years since they numbered upwards of a hundred, while 
they are now said to be less than thirty. The quantity of land 
actually under cultivation here is six hundred acres, most of which is 
in wheat. Mr. Forrest told me that the first year it had produced ten 
bushels per acre, but the present one it was thought the yield would be 

Around the superintendent's house is a kitchen-garden, in which all 
the usual horticultural plants of the United States were growing luxu- 
riantly; the climate was thought to be particularly well adapted to 

Mr. Forrest informed me that the weather was never actually cold, 
nor is the winter long. Snows seldom last more than a day or two ; 
fires, however, are necessary during most months of the year. The 
housing of cattle is resorted to partially ; but little or no provision is 
made for their winter sustenance, as the grass is fit for food the whole 
year round. 

The geographical situation of the Cowlitz Farm is in latitude 46 
30' N., longitude 123 W. 

The guide that Mr. Forrest had sent for was one Simon Plumondon, 
whom I engaged to carry us to Astoria. He proved to have been the 
cockswain of General Cass's canoe, when on his trip to the lakes in the 

The crop of 1841, I was told, at the end of the season, produced seven thousand 


Northwest Territory ; and a more useful person I have seldom met 
with, or one that could be so well depended on. He had been for 
several years in this territory, having left the Company's service, 
married an Indian wife, and was now living on a farm of about fifty 
acres, at the Cowlitz, independent and contented. I have seldom seen 
so pretty a woman as his wife, or a more cheerful and good house- 
wife ; before her marriage she was the belle of the country, and cele- 
brated for her feats of horsemanship. 

Plumondon engaged several of the young Indians to accompany 
him, and with two canoes we were all accommodated. The price for 
each Indian was to be a check shirt. 

During our short stay at Cowlitz, several Indian women brought in 
pieces of buckskin for sale, which they deem a necessary part of the 
equipment of a traveller. From them I learned the manner in which 
they prepare it, which is as follows. Immediately after the animal is 
killed, the skin, after having all the hair scraped off, is stretched tight 
on a frame ; it is there left until it becomes as dry as parchment, when 
it is rubbed over with the brains of the animal, which impart oil to it 
it is then steeped in warm water, after which it is dried in the smoke, 
two women stretching it all the time it is drying; it is then again wet 
and wound tightly round a tree, from which it is again taken, smoked, 
and drawn by women as before ; when nearly dry, it is rubbed with 
the hands as in washing, until it is soft and pliable ; and then it is 
ready for use. 

Mr. Forrest stated to me that he had put a suit on, twenty-four 
hours after the animal had been running in the forest. I am well 
satisfied that no kind of apparel is so well suited as this to the life 
of an Indian or trapper, and all who travel in a wild country should 
be provided with such a dress. 

About a mile from the farm-house, we descended a steep bank, two 
hundred feet high, to the river, where we found our canoes waiting 
for us. The Cowlitz was here about two hundred yards wide, and 
very rapid. Our company, or rather crew, consisted of nine young 
Indians. We were soon seated and' gliding down the stream, while 
each boatman exerted his fullest strength to send us onwards. Just 
before sunset, when we thought we had made nine miles, we landed 
and pitched our tents on a small island in the river. The island was 
covered with drift-wood, which soon enabled us to make a good fire, 
which the temperature rendered quite acceptable. When our supper 
was prepared, we found that our Indians had come away destitute of 
any supply whatever, and that it was necessary to provide for them. 
This I have generally found to be the case, not only with these 



Indians, but with the natives of Polynesia ; both require looking after 
before going on a journey, and will seldom burden themselves with 

At the place where we embarked I tried the velocity of the stream, 
which I found three miles per hour, but in some places it was much 
more rapid. The temperature of its water was 48 Fahrenheit. 

During the night I succeeded in getting several observations of stars, 
for latitude and longitude. 

The next morning we made a start betimes, in order to reach 
Astoria at an early hour. A short distance below our encampment 
we passed the east fork of the Cowlitz, which is smaller and not navi- 
gable even for canoes. We also passed the mouths of several small 
streams on the west side. Plumondon pointed out that side of the river 
to me as good trapping-ground, and amused me by the narration of 
many of the difficulties he had to encounter in taking his game. About 
noon we reached the Columbia. 

The Cowlitz river takes its rise in the Cascade Range, near Mount 
Rainier, and has many short turns in it. Its banks are tolerably high, 
until it approaches the Columbia. It is only at high water, in the 
spring and fall, that the river can be used for boating, at which time 
the supplies from Vancouver are sent, and the grain, &c., returned, 
in large flat barges. The soil along the river appears to be of a good 
quality, a clayey loam with vegetable mould, over trap rock and sand- 
stone. The prevalent trees were poplars, soft maples, ash, fir, pine, 
and cedar, with some laurel, where the prairies are so low as to be 
flooded in the month of May 

On this river it was reported that coal of a good quality existed, 
but I examined all the places that indicated it, and only found lignite. 
This exists in several places, but the largest quantity lies above the 
East Fork : several specimens of it were obtained. 

In the month of September following, I examined the Cowlitz, and 
found it exhibiting a very different character. A few miles above its 
mouth there was not water enough to float even a boat, and it was 
besides filled with rapids. It is not navigable for barges more than 
three months in a year. The distance we passed down the Cowlitz 
did not exceed twenty-six miles, although we had been told that it was 
more than forty. 

The route by the way of the Cowlitz will in all probability be that 
which will hereafter be pursued to the northern waters and sounds. 
Although there are many difficulties in crossing the rivers, &c., yet it 
is believed to be the most feasible course. 

On our way we met with many canoes passing up, loaded with 


salmon and trout, which had been taken at the Willamette Falls, and 
which they were then carrying to trade with the Indians for the 
cammass-root. We obtained some of the fish as a supply for our 

On entering the Columbia our Indians required some rest, and said 
they were hungry ; we therefore concluded to stop for a short time 
on its banks. If I were to judge of the whole Cowlitz tribe from the 
specimens we had with us, I should say they were the merriest set of 
fellows I ever saw, full of fun, and laughing all day long : I became at 
last wearied with their incessant gaiety. 

The Columbia, where the Cowlitz joins it, is a broad flowing 
stream, and was at this time much swollen. We had, after entering 
it, about forty miles yet to make, and it was past noon ; but we glided 
briskly on with the current, although it was by no means so rapid as 
I had expected to have found it. Near the mouth of the Cowlitz is a 
high conical hill, which has received the name of Mount Coffin, 
from its having been a burial-place of the Indians ; and the remains 
of many of their coffins were still to be seen scattered over it. On the 
opposite side of the river is a high barrier of trap rocks, covered with 
majestic pines. 

About ten miles lower down, we passed Oak Point, where the river 
turns nearly at right angles, taking its course along a barrier of trap 
rocks, which it here meets on its west side, and which rises eight 
hundred feet perpendicularly above its surface. On the other side of 
the river is one of the remarkable prairies of the country, covered with 
tall waving grass, and studded with many oaks, from which the point 
takes its name. What adds additional interest and beauty to the scene 
is Mount St. Helen's, which may be seen from the sea when eighty 
miles distant: its height I made nine thousand five hundred and fifty 

In this part of the river, which I named St. Helen's Reach, we met 
the brig Wave, that had brought our stores from Oahu. The master 
informed me that he had landed them at Astoria, and placed them 
under the care of Mr. Birnie, who had charge of the Company's fort. 
The master of the Wave confirmed the report that the Peacock had 
not arrived, and after a short delay we proceeded. By sunset we had 
reached Termination Island, and had yet twenty miles to make in a 
very dark night. We had already passed the only place where we 
could have encamped, and the natives showed extreme reluctance to 
go on. They soon desired to return ; saying that the night was veijy 
dark, and that the bay would be dangerous. This request was over- 
ruled, however, and we continued our course, though under appre- 


hension of disaster. The Indians said that many canoes had been 
lost, and after I became acquainted with this part of the river, I no 
longer wondered at their objections to pass over it at night ; for if 
there is any wind it becomes exceedingly rough, and dangerous for 
their canoes. 

We found the water quite smooth, and glided on hour after hour 
without any appearance of a landing. I was at a loss to account for 
the length of our passage, until I found the tide had been against us. 
We at last reached what Plumondon called Tongue Point, and after- 
\vards kept skirting the shore for so long a time that I began to have 
misgivings that we should pass Astoria, and began firing muskets, the 
usual signal of an arrival. They were immediately answered by others 
just behind us, and the loud clamour of about forty yelping dogs. 
These sounds, although discordant, gave us the delightful assurance 
that we had reached our destination, and might now make our escape 
from the confined and irksome position we had been in a whole day. 
Mr. Birnie, the agent of the Hudson Bay Company, met us at the 
landing, with lanterns and every assistance, and gave us a truly Scotch 
welcome. We soon found ourselves in his quarters, where in a short 
time a fire was burning brightly, and his hospitable board spread with 
good cheer, although it was past midnight. After partaking of the 
supper, blankets were furnished us, and we were made exceedingly 
comfortable for the night. 

In the morning we had a view of the somewhat famous Astoria, 
which is any thing but what I should wish to describe. Half a dozen 
log houses, with as many sheds and a pig-sty or two, are all that it can 
boast of, and even these appear to be rapidly going to decay. 

The Company pay little regard to it, and the idea of holding or 
improving it as a post, has long since been given up. The head- 
quarters of their operations have been removed to Vancouver, eighty 
miles further up the river, since which Astoria has merely been held 
for the convenience of their vessels. It boasts of but one field, and that 
was in potatoes, which I can, however, vouch for as being very fine. 
In former times it had its gardens, forts, and banqueting halls ; and 
from all accounts, when it was the head-quarters of the Northwest 
Company, during their rivalship with the Hudson Bay Company, there 
was as jovial a set residing here, as ever were met together. I have 
had the pleasure of meeting with several of the survivors, who have 
recounted their banquetings, &c. 

, In point of beauty of situation, few places will vie with Astoria. It 
is situated on the south side of the Columbia river, eleven miles from 
Cape Disappointment, as the crow flies. From Astoria there is a fine 


view of the high promontory of Cape Disappointment, and the ocean 
bounding it on the west; the Chinook Hills and Point Ellice, with its 
rugged peak, on the north ; Tongue Point and Katalamet Range on 
the east; and a high background, bristling with lofty pines, to the 
south. The ground rises from the river gradually to the top of a ridge 
five hundred feet in elevation. This was originally covered with a 
thick forest of pines : that part reclaimed by the first occupants is 
again growing up in brushwood. From all parts of the ground the 
broad surface of the river is in view. The stillness is remarkable, and 
makes it evident that one is yet far removed from civilized life : the 
distant though distinct roar of the ocean is the only sound that is heard: 
this, however, is almost incessant ; for the stream, though rushing on- 
wards in silence to meet the ocean, keeps up an eternal war with it on 
the bar, producing at times scenes of great grandeur, but which, as we 
had already experienced, renders the bar wholly impassable for days 

The magnificent pine, so often mentioned by travellers, lies prostrate 
near the tomb of the hospitable chief Concomely, now in ruins. The 
chief's skull, it is believed, is in Glasgow, having been long since re- 
moved by Dr. Gardner. 

There were many things to remind us of home : among them was a 
luxuriant sward of white clover, now in full blossom, and numerous 
other plants that had found their way here : the trees were also familiar, 
and truly American. I felt that the land belonged to my country, that 
we were not strangers on the soil ; and could not but take great interest 
in relation to its destiny, in the prospect of its one day becoming the 
abode of our relatives and friends. 

The Columbia, opposite to Astoria, is four miles wide, but in the 
middle of the river is an extensive sand-bar, with only a few feet water 
on it, and at extreme low tides it is bare : the channel is very narrow 
on each side and difficult to navigate. At Astoria there is only space 
for a dozen vessels to lie at anchor, and it would therefore be difficult 
to accommodate any extensive trade. The point of land extends about 
half a mile below its site, where Young's river joins the Columbia, arid 
forms a bay, on the banks of which Lewis and Clarke wintered. The 
position of their hut is still pointed out, but the building has long since 
gone to decay. 

Plumondon, who, as I have before mentioned, is an expert trapper, 
informed me that the country lying north of the Columbia, between the 
Cowlitz and Cape Disappointment, is generally rough and rugged, with 
numerous streams of water, and in many places a rich soil : it is 

VOL. IV. 41 


extremely well timbered, and is capable, when cleared, of growing 
grain, and other agricultural produce. 

On the 23d (Sunday), it was reported that a vessel was off the Cape, 
firing guns. This made me extremely anxious to go thither, but as 
there was much difficulty in accomplishing this, Mr. Birnie proposed a 
trip to Point Adams, and a visit to the missionaries at Clatsop. This 
proposal I gladly accepted, and at an early hour the next morning we 
set out, crossed Young's Bay, landed, and after walking a mile came 
to the mission, where we had the pleasure of seeing Mr. and Mrs. 
Frost. Mr. Frost gave us a kind welcome at his new dwelling, which 
I understood him to say had been built with his own hands. His wife 
appeared cheerful and happy, and made herself quite agreeable. The 
house is a frame one, of one story, and contains three rooms : it is 
situated in a young spruce and pine grove, which is thought to be the 
most healthy situation here. There are two American settlers, who are 
building houses here, named respectively Tibbits and Smith ; both of 
them are very respectable men, and good mechanics. This place is 
not susceptible of improvement, and I understood that it had been 
chosen for its salubrity. I understood that Mr. Frost was engaged 
with the Rev. Mr. Koen in cultivating a tract of land, about four miles 
distant. The latter resides upon the tract, and is occupied in raising a 
large crop and superintending cattle. There appeared to me to be 
little opportunity for exercising their ministerial calling, though I 
understood afterwards that at particular seasons a number of Indians 
collected to hear them. 

After spending some time with them, Mr. Birnie, Mr. Frost, and 
myself set off for Point Adams and Clatsop village. I think, in all my 
life, I had never met with so many snakes as I saw during this short 
walk: they were on the beach, where they were apparently feeding at 
low water. We looked from the sand-hills on Point Adams for vessels, 
but none were in sight ; and then we walked on to the village. It con- 
sisted of a few rough lodges, constructed of boards or rather hewn 
planks, of large size; the interior resembled a miserably-constructed 
ship's cabin, with bunks, &c. ; the only light was admitted from above, 
near the ridge and gable-end. Pieces of salmon and venison were 
hanging up in the smoke of their fire. Numbers of the Indians are 
always to be seen lounging about, and others gambling. On the bunk- 
planks are painted various uncouth figures of men, and in one was seen 
hanging the head of an elk, which it was understood they make use 
of occasionally as a decoy in the chase, for the purpose of taking their 
game more easily. Around the whole is a palisade, made of thick 


planks and joists, about fifteen feet in length, set with one end in the 
ground, to protect them from attack. 

The Indians of this region even now make war upon each other on 
the most trivial occasion, and for the most part to satisfy individual 
revenge. The Hudson Bay Company's officers possess and exert a 
most salutary influence, endeavouring to preserve peace at all hazards. 
It is now quite safe for a white man to pass in any direction through 
the part of the country where their posts are, and in case of accident 
to any white settler, a war-party is at once organized, and the offender 
is hunted up. About a year previous to our arrival, an Indian was 
executed at Astoria for the murder of a white man, whom he had 
found asleep, killed, and stolen his property. 

He was taken, tried, found guilty, and executed in the presence of 
most of the settlers. The culprit was a slave, and it was some time 
before the chief to whom he belonged would give him up. It was 
proved on the trial, and through the confession of the slave, that he 
had stolen the property and committed the murder by order of his 
master, who took all the stolen goods. The master made his escape 
when he found his agency had been discovered ; and I understood that 
he kept himself aloof from all the Company's posts, until the matter 
should be forgotten. 

As the tide had risen so much as to render it difficult to walk along 
the beach, we returned to Mr. Frost's in a crazy canoe, and were very 
near being upset. Had this accident happened, it must have proved 
fatal to some of us in the strong tide that was running; we therefore 
felt much relieved to get again to the beach. After partaking of Mrs. 
Frost's good cheer, we returned to Astoria, much pleased with our 
day's jaunt. 

On the Clatsop beach, we saw a great number of dead fish. Mr. 
Birnie informed me, that they were thrown up in great numbers during 
the autumn ; and were supposed to be killed by a kind of worm, gene- 
rated in their stomachs. 

On the 28th, the Company's barques Cowlitz and Columbia were in 
sight : the former bound for Oahu, the latter for Sitka. By the former, 
we sent letters for home. 

Our Indians having recovered from their fatigue, I resolved to pro- 
ceed with Mr. Drayton to Vancouver, leaving Mr. Waldron to await 
the arrival of the Peacock, and to recruit from his sickness. We 
embarked at noon, having Mr. Birnie with us, to join the vessels above. 
We soon found ourselves in much more sea and wind than our canoe 
could bear ; and, by Plumondon's advice, took in our sail, and made 
for Tongue Point as quickly as we could. He deemed it much too 


dangerous to venture across the open bay in the small canoe we had 
bought in lieu of the one we had come down in. 

We landed at Tongue Point and encamped ; but as we had much 
time yet before dark, we went to the top of the Point, which is said 
to be the position best adapted for a fortification to defend the channel 
up the river. Tongue Point is a high bluff of trap rock, covered wi h 
trees of large dimensions : the top has been cleared and taken posses- 
sion of by Mr. Birnie, who has erected a log hut and planted a patch 
of potatoes. The hut was inhabited for a year, by a Sandwich Islander 
and his wife. It is rather a rough spot for cultivation, but the end of 
occupancy was answered by it. There is a small portage on Tongue 
Point, which canoes often use in bad weather, to avoid accidents that 
might occur in the rough seas that make in the channel that passes 
round it. 

Mr. Drayton picked up a considerable number of shells. 

Late in the afternoon, Mr. Birnie left us, and joined the barque 
Columbia. Mr. Drayton and myself made ourselves comfortable, not- 
withstanding it rained and blew hard. The next morning we set out 
for Vancouver ; but our progress was slow, and we were obliged to 
take advantage of all the eddies. By the afternoon, however, we had 
reached Oak Point, and stopped at a collection of lodges in order to 
obtain some salmon. 

Near Puget Island, we encountered a party fishing, and saw them 
take a large salmon ; but they demanded such an exorbitant price for 
it (equal to one dollar and twenty-five cents), that we refused to give 
it; considering it bad policy to indulge their cupidity.* Plumondon 
said, that they had no desire to sell the fish, as they had a superstitious 
objection to dispose of the first fish to strangers : even if induced to 
sell it, they will always take the heart out and roast it for themselves ; 
for they believe, that if the heart of the fish were eaten by a stranger 
at the first of the season, their success would be destroyed, and they 
would catch no more fish. To prevent this, they consider it requisite 
that a certain number of " sleeps" or days should pass before any are 
sold. The price of a large salmon is about ten cents in trade. 

Here we unexpectedly found the medicine-man, employed in going 
through his incantations and preparing his medicines. One of our 
young Indians, who was a chief, landed, without knowing what was 
going on, for the purpose of making the inquiries we desired. He 
was met with direful looks, and in great wrath ordered by all the 

* On mentioning the subject at Vancouver, I was told I ought to have taken the fish 
and paid the Indian what I thought proper. 


men to leave the place : they seemed at the instant, desirous to wreak 
vengeance upon him for his intrusion. His retreat was precipitate, 
as he well knew the consequences of delay and the danger of disturb- 
ing the medicine-man during his incantations. If the patient should 
die, they invariably impute the fatal result to the disturbance, and 
ascribe the death to the intruder. This invariably leads to his being 
put to death, by the nearest of kin, who deems this act a duty. Plumon- 
don said, that he was not at all surprised at the fear the young chief 
showed ; for he had himself been placed in similar circumstances a 
short time before, when his father had died. The medicine-man im- 
puted his death to a chief of the Klackatacks, whom this young chief 
shortly afterwards killed. Occurrences of this description have led to 
long and bloody wars among the tribes ; and the only way of settling 
and overcoming this difficulty, is by paying a valuation for the de- 
ceased. I understood that from five to twenty blankets, according to 
rank, and the estimation in which the deceased was held, is considered 
a proper indemnity. 

We encamped a few miles above Oak Point, on the prairie, in a 
grove of trees. The next morning was beautiful, and the birds were 
singing blithely around us. Our Indians were as merry as the birds. 
There was an entire absence of game birds, though a great number of 
singing ones were seen. 

We passed during the day Coffin Rock, which is about seven miles 
above the Mount Coffin before spoken of. It is of small dimensions, 
and has been the burial-place of chiefs, who are usually interred in 
canoes, which are provided with all the necessary appendages for their 
journey to the land of spirits and their hunting-grounds. The mode 
of disposing of their dead seems to have been different on the south 
side of the Columbia. On the Cowlitz we observed many canoes near 
the bank of the river, supported between four trees : these contain the 
remains of their dead, are painted in a variety of figures, and have 
gifts from their friends hung around them. I was told that this is not 
only done at the time of their burial, but frequently for several months 
after. All the sepulchres of this description that I saw were going to 

All the Indians have a great regard for these places of interment, 
and consider them as being sacred. 

Shortly after we passed this point, we met a canoe, and one of our 
Indians was informed that his child was dead. We made a stop soon 
after, and I observed that the man scarified himself on the leg in several 
places, until he bled profusely; this done, he lighted his pipe, and 
seemed to smoke for consolation. He kept himself for that evening 


apart from the rest, who continued their merriment, and paid no regard 
whatever to his movements. To judge from his expression of counte- 
nance, I should say he was much grieved ; but the next day he was as 
merry as any of the others. After being a week with these natives, I 
never saw any flagging in their spirits, for with this exception, all were 
gay and lively at their work. They are not strong, and have an 
effeminate look, of which their manners also partake. 

The scenery before reaching the lower mouth of the Willamette, is 
diversified with high and low land, which, together with three lofty 
snowy peaks, afford many fine views. The country begins to open 
here, and is much better adapted to agriculture than that lower 

At Warrior Point we entered the Callepuya, for the purpose of 
avoiding the current of the river. At this time of the year this branch 
forms an extensive range of lakes, which reaches to within a mile of 
Vancouver. The river was now high enough to make it convenient 
for us to take this route. Shortly after entering the Callepuya, we 
were obliged to encamp, which we did in rather an inauspicious-looking 
place ; but the bank had not yet absorbed sufficient moisture to make it 
even wet or damp. Mr. Drayton having shot a pigeon, we had some- 
thing for supper, otherwise we should have gone without, for we thought 
when we left Astoria, we should reach Vancouver many hours before 
we actually did. On the approach to Vancouver, we passed one of 
the dairies, and some rich meadow-land, on which were grazing herds 
of fine cattle. We afterwards saw some flocks of sheep of the best 
English and Spanish breeds. 

It becoming necessary to make a short portage within a mile of 
Vancouver, we concluded to walk thither by the road. In this march 
we first entered a wood of large pines, which had an undergrowth of 
various flowering shrubs. The old stumps in the road were overgrown 
with the red honeysuckle, in full blossom. Lupines and other flowers 
grow even in the roadway. 

We came in at the back part of the village, which consists of about 
fifty comfortable log houses, placed in regular order on each side of 
the road. They are inhabited by the Company's servants, and were 
swarming with children, whites, half-breeds, and pure Indians. The 
fort stands at some distance beyond the village, and to the eye appears 
like an upright wall of pickets, twenty-five feet high : this encloses the 
houses, shops, and magazines of the Company. The enclosure con- 
tains about four acres, which appear to be under full cultivation. 
Beyond the fort, large granaries were to be seen. At one end is Dr. 
M'Langhlin's house, built after the model of the French Canadian, of 



one story, weather-boarded and painted white. It has a piazza and 
small flower-beds, with grape and other vines, in front. Between the 
steps are two old cannons on sea-carriages, with a few shot, to speak 
defiance to the natives, who no doubt look upon them as very formi- 
dable weapons of destruction. I mention these, as they are the only 
warlike instruments to my knowledge that are within the pickets of 
Vancouver, which differs from all the other forts in having no bastions, 
galleries, or loop-holes. Near by are the rooms for the clerks and 
visitors, with the blacksmiths' and coopers' shops. In the centre 
stands the Roman Catholic chapel, and near by the flag-staff; beyond 
these again are the stores, magazines of powder, warerooms, and 


We went immediately to Dr. M'Laughlm s quarters. He was not 
within, but we were kindly invited to enter, with the assurance that he 
would soon return. Only a few minutes elapsed before Dr. M'Laughlin 
came galloping up, having understood that we had preceded him. He 
is a tall fine-looking person, of a very robust frame, with a frank manly 
open countenance, and a florid complexion ; his hair is perfectly white. 
He gave us that kind reception we had been led to expect from his 
well-known hospitality. He is of Scotch parentage, but by birth, a 
Canadian, enthusiastic in disposition, possessing great energy of cha- 
racter, and extremely well suited for the situation he occupies, which 
requires great talent and industry. He at once ordered dinner for us, 
and we soon felt ourselves at home, having comfortable rooms assigned 
us, and being treated as part of the establishment. 

The situation of Vancouver is favourable for agricultural purposes, 
and it may be said to be the head of navigation for sea-going vessels. 
A vessel of fourteen feet draft of water, may reach it in the lowest 
state of the river. The Columbia at this point makes a considerable 
angle, and is divided by two islands, which extend upwards about 
three miles, to where the upper branch of the Willamette joins it. 


The shores of these islands are covered with trees, consisting of ash, 
poplars, pines, and oaks, while the centre is generally prairie, and 
lower than the banks : they are principally composed of sand. During 
the rise of the river in May and June, the islands are covered with 
water, that filters through the banks that are not overflowed. This 
influx renders them unfit for grain crops, as the coldness of the water 
invariably destroys every cultivated plant it touches. 

The Company's establishment at Vancouver is upon an extensive 
scale, and is worthy of the vast interest of which it is the centre. The 
residents mess at several tables : one for the chief factor and his clerks ; 
one for their wives (it being against the regulations of the Company 
for their officers and wives to take their meals together) ; another for 
the missionaries; and another for the sick and the Catholic mission- 
aries. All is arranged in the best order, and I should think with great 
economy. Every thing may be had within the fort : they have an ex- 
tensive apothecary shop, a bakery, blacksmiths' and coopers' shops, 
trade-offices for buying, others for selling, others again for keeping 
accounts and transacting business; shops for retail, where English 
manufactured articles may be purchased at as low a price, if not 
cheaper, than in the United States, consisting of cotton and woollen 
goods, ready-made clothing, ship-chandlery, earthen and iron ware, 
and fancy articles ; in short, every thing, and of every kind and 
description, including all sorts of groceries, at an advance of eighty 
per cent, on the London prime cost. This is the established price at 
Vancouver, but at the other posts it is one hundred per cent., to cover 
the extra expenses of transportation. All these articles are of good 
quality, and suitable for the servants, settlers and visitors. Of the 
quantity on hand, some idea may be formed from the fact that all the 
posts west of the Rocky Mountains get their annual supplies from this 

Vancouver is the head-quarters of the Northwest or Columbian 
Department, which also includes New Caledonia ; all the returns of 
furs are received here, and hither all accounts are transmitted for 
settlement. These operations occasion a large mass of business to be 
transacted at this establishment. Mr. Douglass, a chief factor, and the 
associate of Dr. M'Laughlin, assists in this department, and takes sole 
charge in his absence. 

Dr. M'Laughlin showed us our rooms, and told us that the bell was 
the signal for meals. 

Towards sunset, tea-time arrived, and we obeyed the summons of 
the bell, when we were introduced to several of the gentlemen of the 
establishment: we met in a large hall, with a long table spread with 


abundance of good fare. Dr. M'Laughlin took the head of the table, 
with myself on his right, Messrs. Douglass and Drayton on his left, and 
the others apparently according to their rank. I mention this, as every 
one appears to have a relative rank, privilege, and station assigned him, 
and military etiquette prevails. The meal lasts no longer than is 
necessary to satisfy hunger. With the officers who are clerks, business 
is the sole object of their life, and one is entirely at a loss here who has 
nothing to do. Fortunately I found myself much engaged, and there- 
fore it suited me. The agreeable company of Dr. M'Laughlin and Mr. 
Douglass made the time at meals pass delightfully. Both of these 
gentlemen were kind enough to give up a large portion of their time 
to us, and I felt occasionally that we must be trespassing on their 
business hours. After meals, it is the custom to introduce pipes and 
tobacco. It was said that this practice was getting into disuse, but I 
should have concluded from what I saw that it was at its height. 

Canadian French is generally spoken to the servants : even those who 
come out from England after a while adopt it, and it is not a little 
amusing to hear the words they use, and the manner in which they 
pronounce them. 

The routine of a day at Vancouver is perhaps the same throughout 
the year. At early dawn the bell is rung for the working parties, who 
soon after go to work : the sound of the hammers, click of the anvils, 
the rumbling of the carts, with tinkling of bells, render it difficult to 
sleep after this hour. The bell rings again at eight, for breakfast ; at 
nine they resume their work, which continues till one ; then an hour is 
allowed for dinner, after which they work till six, when the labours of 
the day close. At five o'clock on Saturday afternoon the work is 
stopped, when the servants receive their weekly rations. 

Vancouver is a large manufacturing, agricultural, and commercial 
depot, and there are few if any idlers, except the sick. Everybody 
seems to be in a hurry, whilst there appears to be no obvious reason 
for it. 

Without making any inquiries, I heard frequent complaints made of 
both the quantity and quality of the food issued by the Company to its 
servants. I could not avoid perceiving that these complaints were well 
founded, if this allowance were compared with what we deem a 
sufficient ration in the United States for a labouring man. Many of 
the servants complained that they had to spend a great part of the 
money they receive to buy food: this is 17 per annum, out of 
which they have to furnish themselves with clothes. They are 
engaged for five years, and after their time has expired the Com- 
pany are obliged to send them back to England or Canada, if they 

VOL. iv. 2C2 43 


desire it. Generally, however, when their time expires they find 
themselves in debt, and are obliged to serve an extra time to pay it: 
and not unfrequently, at the expiration of their engagement, they 
have become attached, or married, to some Indian woman or half- 
breed, and have children, on which account they find themselves 
unable to leave, and continue attached to the Company's service, and 
in all respects under the same engagement as before. If they desire 
to remain and cultivate land, they are assigned a certain portion, but 
are still dependent on the Company for many of the necessaries of life, 
clothing, &c. This causes them to become a sort of vassal, and com- 
pels them to execute the will of the Company. In this way, however, 
order and decorum are preserved, together with steady habits, for few 
can in any way long withstand this silent influence. The consequence 
is, that few communities are to be found more well-behaved and orderly 
than that which is formed of the persons who have retired from the 
Company's service. That this power, exercised by the officers of the 
Company, is much complained of, I am aware, but I am satisfied that 
as far as the morals of the settlers and servants are concerned, it is 
used for good purposes. For instance, the use of spirits is almost 
entirely done away with. Dr. M'Laughlin has acted in a highly praise- 
worthy manner in this particular. Large quantities of spirituous 
liquors are now stored in the magazines at Vancouver, which the Com- 
pany have refused to make an article of trade, and none is now used 
by them in the territory for that purpose. They have found this rule 
highly beneficial to their business in several respects : more furs are 
taken, in consequence of those who are engaged having fewer induce- 
ments to err; the Indians are found to be less quarrelsome, and pursue 
the chase more constantly ; and the settlers, as far as I could hear, have 
been uniformly prosperous. 

In order to show the course of the Company upon this subject, I 
will mention one circumstance. The brig Thomas H. Perkins arrived 
here with a large quantity of rum on board, with other goods. Dr. 
M'Laughlin, on hearing of this, made overtures immediately for the 
purchase of the whole cargo, in order to get possession of the whiskey 
or rum, and succeeded. The Doctor mentioned to me that the liquor 
was now in store, and would not be sold in the country, and added, 
that the only object he had in buying the cargo was to prevent the use 
of the rum, and to sustain the temperance cause. 

The settlers are also deterred from crimes, as the Company have the 
power of sending them to Canada for trial, which is done with little 
cost, by means of the annual expresses which carry their accounts and 


The interior of the houses in the fort are unpretending. They are 
simply finished with pine board panels, without any paint : bunks are 
built for bedsteads ; but the whole, though plain, is as comfortable as 
could be desired. 

I was introduced to several of the missionaries: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, 
of the American Board of Missions ; Mr. and Mrs. Griffith, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Clarke, of the Self-supporting Mission ; Mr. Waller of the 
Methodist, and two others. They, for the most part, make Vancouver 
their home, where they are kindly received and well entertained at no 
expense to themselves. The liberality and freedom from sectarian 
principles of Dr. M'Laughlin may be estimated from his being thus 
hospitable to missionaries of so many Protestant denominations, al- 
though he is a professed Catholic, and has a priest of the same faith 
officiating daily at the chapel. Religious toleration is allowed in its 
fullest extent The dining-hall is given up on Sunday to the use of the 
ritual of the Anglican Church, and Mr. Douglass or a missionary reads 
the service. 

Mr. and Mrs. Smith had been in the country two years, and were 
about leaving it for the Hawaiian Islands, in consequence of the ill 
health of Mrs. Smith. Mr. Smith informed me that he had been 
settled on the Kooskooskee, at a station called Kamia. There were no 
Indians near that station, and consequently little duty for a missionary 
to perform. All the above-named missions, except the Methodist, 
came across the Rocky Mountains : they represented the pass through 
them as by no means difficult, and that they had entertained no appre- 
hension of the hostile Indians. They had accompanied a party of 
fur-traders from St. Louis, and gave a deplorable account of the dis- 
sipation and morals of the party. Messrs. Griffith and Clarke were 
entirely disappointed in finding self-support here, and had it not been 
for the kindness of Dr. M'Laughlin, who took them in, they would 
have suffered much. They were advised to settle themselves on the 
Faulitz Plains, where I have understood they have since taken land, 
and succeeded in acquiring quite respectable farms. 

There are two large entrance gates to the " fort" for wagons and 
carts, and one in the rear leading to the granaries and the garden : 
the latter is quite extensive, occupying four or five acres, and contains 
all kinds of vegetables and many kinds of fruit, with which the tables 
are abundantly supplied by the gardener, " Billy Bruce." After 
William Bruce's first term of service had expired, he was desirous of 
returning to England, and was accordingly sent. This happened 
during the visit of Dr. M'Laughlin to England. One day an acci- 
dental meeting took place in a crowded street of London, where he 


begged Dr. M'Laughlin to send him back to Vancouver. William 
Bruce was accordingly taken again into employ, and sent, back in the 
next ship. In the mean time, however, he was sent to Chisvvick, the 
seat of the Duke of Devonshire, to get a little more knowledge of 
his duties, and remained till the vessel sailed ; but no place was like 
Vancouver to him, and all his success here continues to be compared 
with Chiswick, which he endeavours to surpass: this is alike creditable 
to both. 

Besides the storehouses there is also a granary, which is a frame 
building of two stories, and the only one, the rest being built of logs. 

In addition to these, there are extensive kitchens and apartments 
for the half-breed and Indian children that the Company have taken 
to bring up and educate. Of these there are now twenty-three boys 
and fifteen girls, who claim the particular attention of Dr. M'Laughlin 
and Mrs. Douglass. A teacher is employed for the boys, who super- 
intends them not only in school, but in the field and garden. During 
my stay an examination took place, and although the pupils did not 
prove very expert at their reading and writing, yet we had sufficient 
evidence that they had made some improvement, and were in a fair 
way to acquire the rudiments. Some allowance was to be made for 
the boys, who had been constantly in the field under their teacher for 
a few months past. Dr. M'Laughlin estimated the labour of four of 
these small boys as equal to that of a man. It was an interesting sight 
to see these poor little cast-away fellows, of all shades of colour, from 
the pure Indian to that of the white, thus snatched away from the 
vices and idleness of the savage. They all speak both English and 
French; they are also instructed in religious exercises, in which I 
thought they appeared more proficient than in their other studies. 
These they are instructed in on Sunday, on which day they attend divine 
worship twice. They were a ruddy set of boys, and when at work 
had a busy appearance : they had planted and raised six hundred 
bushels of potatoes ; and from what Dr. M'Laughlin said to me, fully 
maintain themselves. The girls are equally well cared for, and are 
taught by a female, with whom they live and work. 

An opinion has gone abroad, I do not know how, that at this post 
there is a total disregard of morality and religion, and that vice pre- 
dominates. As far as my observations went, I feel myself obliged to 
state, that every thing seems to prove the contrary, and to bear testi- 
mony that the officers of the Company are exerting themselves to 
check vice, and encourage morality and religion, in a very marked 
manner; and that I saw no instance in which vice was tolerated in 
any degree. I have, indeed, reason to believe, from the discipline and 


the example of the superiors, that the whole establishment is a pattern 
of good order and correct deportment. 

This remark not only extends to this establishment, but as far as 
our opportunities went (and all but two of their posts were visited), 
the same good order prevails throughout the country. Wherever the 
operations of the Company extend, they have opened the way to 
future emigration, provided the means necessary for the success of 
emigrants, and rendered its peaceful occupation an easy and cheap 

The mode in which their trade is carried on, will give some idea of 
the system pursued by the Company. All the imported goods are 
divided into three classes, viz. : articles of gratuity, those of trade, 
and those intended to pay for small services, labour, and provisions. 
The first consists of knives and tobacco; the second, of blankets, guns, 
cloth, powder, and shot; the third, of shirts, handkerchiefs, ribands, 
beads, &c. These articles are bartered at seemingly great profits, 
and many persons imagine that large gain must be the result from the 
Indian trade ; but this is seldom the case. The Indians and settlers 
understand well the worth of each article, and were not inclined to give 
for it more than its real value, besides getting a present or " potlatch" 
to boot. The Company are obliged to make advances to all their 
trappers, if they wish to be sure of their services ; and from such a 
reckless set, there is little certainty of getting returns, even if the 
trapper has it in his power. In fact, he will not return with his season's 
acquisitions, unless he is constrained to pursue the same course of 
life for another year, when he requires a new advance. In order to 
avoid losses by the departure of their men, the parties, some thirty or 
forty in number, are placed under an officer who has charge of the 
whole. These are allowed to take their wives and even families with 
them ; and places, where they are to trap during the season, on some 
favourable ground, are assigned to them. These parties leave Van- 
couver in October, and return by May or June. They usually trap on 
shares, and the portion they are to receive is defined by an agreement; 
the conditions of which depend very much upon their skill. 

All the profits of the Company depend upon economical manage- 
ment, for the quantity of peltry in this section of the country, and 
indeed it may be said the fur-trade on this side of the mountains, has 
fallen off fifty per cent, within the last few years. It is indeed reported, 
that this business at present is hardly worth pursuing. 

Mr. Douglass was kind enough to take me into the granary, which 
contained wheat, flour, barley, and buckwheat. The wheat averaged 
sixty-three pounds to the bushel ; barley yields twenty bushels to the 


acre ; buckwheat, in some seasons, gives a good crop, but it is by no 
means certain, owing to the early frosts ; oats do not thrive well ; 
peas, beans, and potatoes yield abundantly ; little or no hay is made, 
the cattle being able to feed all the year round on the natural hay, 
which they find very nutritious, and fatten upon it. The grass grows 
up rapidly in the beginning of summer ; and the subsequent heat and 
drought convert it into hay, in which all the juices are preserved. 
Besides this, they have on the prairies along the river, two luxu- 
riant growths of grass ; the first in the spring, and the second soon 
after the overflowing of the river subsides, which is generally in July 
and August. The last crop lasts the remainder of the season. Neither 
do they require shelter, although they are penned in at night. The 
pens are movable ; and the use of them is not only for security against 
the wolves, but to manure the ground. 

The farm at Vancouver is about nine miles square. On this they 
have two dairies, and milk upwards of one hundred cows. There are 
also two other dairies, situated on Wapauto Island on the Willamette, 
where they have one hundred and fifty cows, whose milk is employed, 
under the direction of imported dairymen, in making butter and cheese 
for the Russian settlements. 

They have likewise a grist and saw mill, both well constructed, 
about six miles above Vancouver, on the Columbia river. 

One afternoon we rode with Mr. Douglass to visit the dairy-farm, 
which lies to the west of Vancover, on the Callepuya. This was one 
of the most beautiful rides I had yet taken, through fine prairies, 
adorned with large oaks, ash, and pines. The large herds of cattle 
feeding and reposing under the trees, gave an air of civilization to the 
scene, that is the only thing wanting in the other parts of the territory. 
The water was quite high ; and many of the little knolls were sur- 
rounded by it, which had the appearance of small islets breaking the 
wide expanse of overflowing water. 

This dairy is removed every year, which is found advantageous to 
the ground, and affords the cattle better pasturage. The stock on the 
Vancouver farm is about three thousand head of cattle, two thousand 
five hundred sheep, and about three hundred brood mares. 

At the dairy, we were regaled with most excellent milk ; and found 
the whole establishment well managed by a Canadian and his wife. 
They churn in barrel-machines, of which there are several. All the 
cattle look extremely well, and are rapidly increasing in numbers. 
The cows give milk at the age of eighteen months. Those of the Cali- 
fornia breed give a very small quantity of milk; but when crossed 
with those from the United States and England, do very well. I 


saw two or three very fine bulls, that had been imported from 
England. The sheep have lambs twice a year: those of the Cali- 
fornia breed yield a very inferior kind of wool, which is inclined to 
be hairy near the hide, and is much matted. This breed has been 
crossed with the Leicester, Bakewell, and other breeds, which has 
much improved it. The fleeces of the mixed breed are very heavy, 
weighing generally eight pounds, and some as much as twelve. 
Merinos have been tried, but they are not found to thrive. 

The Californian horses are not equal to those raised in Oregon: 
those bred near Wallawalla are in the most repute. 

In one of our rides we visited the site of the first fort at Vancouver: 
it is less than a mile from the present position, and is just on the brow 
of the upper prairie. The view from this place is truly beautiful: 
the noble river can be traced in all its windings, for a long distance 
through the cultivated prairie, with its groves and clumps of trees ; 
beyond, the eye sweeps over an interminable forest, melting into a 
blue haze, from which Mount Hood, capped with its eternal snows, 
rises in great beauty. The tints of purple which appear in the 
atmosphere, are, so far as I am aware, peculiar to this country. This 
site was abandoned, in consequence of the difficulty of obtaining 
water, and its distance from the river, which compelled them to 
transport every article up a high and rugged road. The latter 
difficulty was encountered in the first location on the upper prairie, 
because it was said that the lower one was occasionally flooded ; but 
although this may have happened formerly, it is not found to occur at 

I also visited the grist-mill, which is situated on a small stream, 
but owing to the height of the river, which threw a quantity of back- 
water on the wheel, it was not in action. The mill has one run of 
stones, and is a well-built edifice. Annexed to it is the house of the 
miller, who is also the watchmaker of the neighbourhood. The mill 
is amply sufficient for all the wants of the Company, and of the sur- 
rounding country. The saw-mill is two miles beyond the grist-mill. 
A similar mistake has been made in choosing its position, for the mill 
is placed so low that for the part of the season when they have most 
water, they are unable to use it. There are in it several runs of 
saws, and it is remarkably well built. In few buildings, indeed, can 
such materials be seen as are here used. The quality of timber cut 
into boards, is inferior to what we should deem merchantable in the 
United States, and is little better than our hemlock. The boards are 
shipped to the Sandwich Islands, and we here found the brig Wave 
taking in a cargo of lumber. These boards sell at Oahu for eighty 


dollars per thousand. I could not ascertain their cost here. About 
twenty men (Canadians and Sandwich Islanders) are employed at the 

They have a large smith's shop here, which, besides doing the work 
of the mill, makes all the axes and hatchets used by the trappers. 
The iron and steel are imported: the tools are manufactured at a 
much less price than those imported, and are more to be depended on. 
A trapper's success, in fact, depends upon his axe ; and on this being 
lost or broken, he necessarily relinquishes his labours, and returns un- 
successful. I was surprised at seeing the celerity with which these 
axes are made. Fifty of them, it is said, can be manufactured in a 
day, and twenty-five are accounted an ordinary day's work. They 
are eagerly sought after by the Indians, who are very particular that 
the axe should have a certain shape, somewhat like a tomahawk. 

From the mill we crossed over to one of the sheep-walks on the high 
prairie. The soil on this is a light sandy loam, which yields a plentiful 
crop of columbine, lupine, and cammass-flowers. Throughout these 
upper prairies, in places, are seen growing pines of gigantic dimensions 
and towering height, with their branches drooping to the ground, with 
clumps of oaks, elders, and maple. These prairies have such an air 
of being artificially kept in order, that they never cease to create sur- 
prise, and it is difficult to believe that the hand of taste and refinement 
has not been at work upon them. 

On our way back to Vancouver, we met the droves of horses and 
cattle that they were driving to the upper prairie, on account of the 
rise of the river, and the consequent flooding of the low grounds. 
This was quite an interesting sight. A certain number of brood mares 
are assigned to each horse ; and the latter, it is said, is ever mindful 
of his troop, and prevents them from straying. An old Indian is em- 
ployed to watch the horses, who keeps them constant company, and is 
quite familiar with every individual of his charge. We reached the 
fort just at sunset, after a ride of twenty miles. It was such a sunset 
as reminded me of home : the air was mild, and a pleasant breeze pre- 
vailed from the west ; Mount Hood showed itself in all its glory, rising 
out of the purple haze with which the landscape was shrouded. 

On this night, (29th May,) the waters of the Columbia took a rise 
of eighteen inches in ten hours, and apprehensions were entertained 
that the crops on the lower prairie would be destroyed. The usual 
time for the highest rise of the river is in the middle of June, but the 
heat of the spring and summer is supposed to have caused its rise 
sooner this year. 

The crop of wheat of the last year had been partially destroyed, 


causing a loss of a thousand bushels. Although the Columbia does 
not overflow its banks any where except in the lower prairie, there are 
quicksands in these, through which the water, before it reaches the 
height of .the embankment, percolates, and rises on the low parts of the 
prairie. In consequence of the low temperature of the water, as I 
have before observed, it chills and destroys the grain. 

I witnessed the Columbia at its greatest and least heights, and no 
idea can be formed of it unless seen at both these epochs. The flood 
is a very grand sight from the banks of the river at Vancouver, as it 
passes swiftly by, bearing along the gigantic forest trees, whose im- 
mense trunks appear as mere chips. They frequently lodge for a time, 
in which case others are speedily caught by them, which obstructing 
the flow of the water, form rapids, until by a sudden rush the whole 
is borne ofl' to the ocean, and in time lodged by the currents on some 
remote and savage island, to supply the natives with canoes. I also 
witnessed the undermining of large trees on the banks, and occasional 
strips of soil : thus does the river yearly make inroads on its banks, 
and changes in its channels. 

From the circumstance of this annual inundation of the river 
prairies, they will always be unfit for husbandry, yet they are admi- 
rably adapted for grazing, except during the periods of high water. 
There is no precaution that can prevent the inroad of the water. At 
Vancouver they were at the expense of throwing up a long embank- 
ment of earth, but without the desired effect. It has been found that 
the crop of grain suffers in proportion to the quantity of the stalk im- 
mersed : unless the wheat is completely covered, a partial harvest may 
be expected. 

The temperature of the waters of the Columbia, during the months 
of May and June, was 42, while in September it had increased to 68. 

The waters of the Columbia have no fertilizing qualities, which is 
remarkable when the extent of its course is considered : on the con- 
trary, it is said, from experience, to deteriorate and exhaust the soil. 
It is, when taken up, quite clear, although it has a turbid look as it 
flows by. Quantities of fine sand are however borne along, and being 
deposited in the eddies, rapidly form banks, which alter the channel in 
places to a great degree. 

During my stay at Vancouver, I had a visit from three of a party of 
eight young Americans, who were desirous of leaving the country, but 
could not accomplish it in any other way but by building a vessel. 
They were not dissatisfied with the territory, but they would not settle 
themselves down in it, because there were no young women to marry, 
except squaws or half-breeds. They informed me that they were then 

VOL. iv. an 43 



engaged in building a vessel on the Oak Islands in the Willamette ; 
where I promised to visit them on my way up the river. 

I found them in difficulty with Dr. M'Laughlin, who had refused 
to furnish them with any more supplies, in consequence, as he stated, 
of their having obtained those already given them under false pre- 








ON the 3d of June, we had made arrangements for leaving Van- 
couver, and proceeding up the Willamette ; but the weather was so 
stormy, that we deferred our departure until the following day. 

Dr. M'Laughlin had kindly furnished us with a large boat, and, 
although we had provided ourselves with provisions, we found in her 
a large basket filled with every thing that travellers could need, or 
kindness suggest. 

The barge in which we embarked was one that usually carried 
freight ; but it had been fitted up with seats for our use, so that we 
found ourselves extremely comfortable, and our jaunt was much more 
pleasant than if we had been confined to a small canoe. These flat- 
bottom boats are capable of carrying three hundred bushels of wheat, 
and have but a small draft of water ; when well manned, they are as 
fast as the canoes, and are exceedingly well adapted to the navigation 
of the river : they are also provided with large tarpawlings to protect 
their cargo from the weather. 

From Vancouver we floated down with the current to the upper 
mouth of the Willamette, which we entered, and before night passed 
the encampment of the Rev. Jason Lee, principal of the Methodist 
Mission in Oregon, who was on his way to Clatsop, at the mouth of 
the Columbia. We stopped with him for an hour. He was accom- 
panied by his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Whitwell, and two or three children. 
Their encampment was close to the river, and consisted of two small 
tents. Mr. Lee gave us a warm invitation to visit the settlement on 
the Willamette, thus forestalling our intentions to do so. 

The musquitoes and sand-flies were so annoying, that we were 

2D2 (341) 


glad to seek for higher ground to encamp on, for the purpose of 
escaping them. 

The Willamette river is generally about one-fourth of a mile wide. 
For the distance of four miles from its entrance into the Columbia its 
banks are low, and during the rise of the latter are overflowed, its 
waters being backed into the Willamette. There is little current to 
contend with in this river during this season. After passing this low 
ground, the banks become high and precipitous, and are in only a few 
places susceptible of cultivation. 

We encamped on the island occupied by the young Americans, of 
whom I spoke in the preceding chapter, and close to the place where 
they were building their vessel. The group of which it is one, is called 
the Oak Islands. 

On landing, we were introduced to them all. They had reached 
the Oregon country by crossing the Rocky Mountains, a year before, 
and worked on the Willamette, where they first proposed to settle 
themselves ; but they found that that was out of the question, as there 
was little or no prospect of their being contented, and they were 
now bent upon leaving the country at all hazards. Every one with 
whom I spoke gave them a good character, except one, and I found 
that, shortly after my visit, he had been turned out of the partner- 

The vessel they were building was a small schooner. One of their 
number having served a short time in a ship-yard in the United States, 
the rest were employed as his assistants, cutting timber and preparing 
the plank, which they procured from the cedar on the banks of the 

I explained to them the cause of Dr. M'Laughlin's refusal to assist 
them, which they denied most positively. I then told them it was 
proper for them to deny having authorized any trick or deception, on 
doing which I was sure they would receive any assistance that lay in 
the power of Dr. M'Laughlin. This they subsequently did, and I was 
informed that they then received all the aid he had it in his power to 

I tried to dissuade these young men from making their voyage; for I 
found, on conversing with them, that not one of them knew any thing 
about the sailing of a vessel or navigation. I therefore knew how 
great dangers they would experience on the voyage even to California, 
whither they intended to go, with the intention of taking sea-otter by 
the way on the coast of Oregon. After their arrival at San Francisco 
it was their plan to sell their vessel and cargo, if they were fortu- 
nate enough to obtain any, or if not, to go down the coast further, 


when they would cross over the country, and return by the way o<* 
Mexico or Texas. 

It gave me much pleasure to see the buoyancy of spirit, so truly 
characteristic of our countrymen, with which they carried on their 

Before I left the Columbia in September, they asked me for a sea- 
letter for their protection ; at the same time informing me that their 
vessel was launched, met their expectations, and was called the " Star 
of Oregon." 

The grove of oak on this island was beautiful, forming an extensive 
wood, with no undergrowth. The species that grows here is a white- 
oak, of very close grain. Its specific gravity is much greater than 
water; and it is used for the purposes to which we apply both oak and 
hickory. It makes excellent hoops for casks, and is the only timber 
of this region that is considered durable. 

The next morning, I left the boat-builders, after assuring them that 
they should have all the assistance I could give them in their outfit. 

After we had embarked, we were told by our guide, Plumondon, 
that he had with him saddles and bridles, and orders for horses, &c.,' 
in order that we might meet with no delay or inconvenience in our 
trip up the Willamette. I felt these kind attentions and the manner 
they were bestowed ; and it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge 
how much we were benefited by them. 

Early on the morning of the 5th, we set out for the falls of the 
Willamette. As they are approached, the river becomes much nar- 
rower ; and the banks, which are of trap rock, more precipitous. This 
river is navigable for small vessels, even at its lowest stage, as high as 
the mouth of the Klackamus, three miles below its falls. In the low 
state of the river, there is a rapid at the Klackamus. 

We reached the falls about noon, where we found the missionary 
station under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Waller. The Hudson Bay 
Company have a trading-post here, and are packing fish, which the 
Indians catch in great quantities. This is said to be one of the best 
salmon-fisheries on the river. 

There was a petty dispute between Mr. Waller and the Company, 
and he complained of them. It seems that the Company refuse to buy 
any beaver-skins, except from the hunters and trappers ; and he accuses 
them of monopoly in consequence. The Company, on the other hand, 
say that they have no idea of selling goods out of their own stores, for 
the purpose of enabling others to enter into competition with them ; and 
that they will spare no expense to keep the trade, as long as they can, 
in their own hands. This is certainly not unfair. I cannot help feeling 


it is quite unsuited to the life of a missionary, to be entering into trade 
of any kind. To embark in traffic must, I think, tend to destroy the 
usefulness of a missionary, or divert his attention from the great cause 
in which he is engaged. I am very far from attaching any blame on 
this account to the missionaries, whose avowed object is to teach the 
arts of civilization, as well as the Word of God, and I have no doubt 
that they are doing all in their power to promote the latter object ; but 
I am disposed to think, that any complaints against the Hudson Bay 
Company for endeavouring to keep the trade in their own hands, comes 
with an ill grace from the members of a mission who are daily receiving 
the kindest attentions and hospitality from its officers. 

Mr. Waller and his wife gave us a kind welcome, and insisted upon 
our taking dinner with them. As they have no servants, Mrs. Waller 
prepared the dinner, while Mr. Waller took care of the out-door 
business. Though the house was built of rough materials, it was very 
evident that neatness and order prevailed. Her management of the 
home-made cooking-stove which stood in the room, claimed my admi- 
ration. At the same time she made herself quite agreeable ; and although 
she had many, very many things to contend with, appeared quite satis- 
fied with her lot and condition. 

After we had partaken of our dinner, consisting of salmon and tea, 
with bread and butter, Mr. Waller took us to see the falls. On our 
way thither, he pointed out a log house that had been built by the 
agent of Mr. Slacum, in order to secure the right of site or mill-privi- 
leges. The Hudson Bay Company have gone to considerable expense 
in blasting the rock for a mill-race for the same purpose ; but from 
appearances, this work has remained untouched for several years. 

The falls of Willamette are about twenty feet in height, and probably 
offer the best mill-sites of any place in the neighbouring country. Being 
at the head of navigation for sea-vessels, and near the great wheat- 
growing valley of the Willamette, it must be a place of great resort. A 
Mr. Moore, from the Western States, whom I saw on the Willamette, 
informed me that he had taken possession of the west side of the falls, 
under a purchase from an old Indian chief. Whether such titles will 
be recognised by the government, is already a matter of speculation in 
the country ; and there is much talk of pre-emption rights, &c. 

At the time of our visit to the falls, the salmon-fishery was at its 
height, and was to us a novel as well as an amusing scene. The 
salmon leap the fall ; and it would be inconceivable, if not actually 
witnessed, how they can force themselves up, and after a leap of from 
ten to twelve feet retain strength enough to stem the force of the water 
above. About one in ten of those who jumped, would succeed in 



getting by. They are seen to dart out of the foam beneath and reach 
about two-thirds of the height, at a single bound : those that thus 
passed the apex of the running water, succeed ; but all that fell short, 
were thrown back again into the foam. I never saw so many fish 
collected together before ; and the Indians are constantly employed in 
taking them. They rig out two stout poles, long enough to project 
over the foaming cauldron, and secure their larger ends to the rocks. 
On the outer end they make a platform for the fisherman to stand on, 
who is perched on it with a pole thirty feet long in hand, to which the 
net is fastened by a hoop four feet in diameter: the net is made to slide 
on the hoop, so as to close its mouth when the fish is taken. The mode 
of using the net is peculiar : they throw it into the foam as far up the 
stream as they can reach, and it being then quickly carried down, the 
fish who are running up in a contrary direction, are caught Some- 
times twenty large fish are taken by a single person in an hour ; and 
it is only surprising that twice as many should not be caught. 


The river at the falls is three hundred and fifty yards wide, and its 
greatest fall twenty-five feet. When the water is not very high, the 
rapids begin some distance above the falls. Some of the Indians are 
in the habit of coming down in canoes to the brink of the falls, where 
they secure themselves by thrusting down poles in the crevices of the 

VOL. iv. 44 


rock. There they take many fish, that have succeeded in passing the 
lower fall, with a hook fastened to the end of a pole. These are 
esteemed to be of the best flavour, as they are the strongest and 
fattest. It is said from these places the fish can be seen very dis- 
tinctly passing up, and are taken very rapidly ; but few Indians are 
willing or expose themselves to the risk of fishing there. The number 
of Indians at the Willamette Falls during the fishing season, is about 
seventy, including all ages and sexes : there are others who visit the 
falls in canoes for fish, which at times will raise the number to not far 
from one hundred. Those fish which are unable to get up, remain 
some time at the falls, very much exhausted, and finally resort to the 
smaller streams below. Mr. Drayton's sketch of the scene is given in 
the vignette. 

The rocks here change their character within a few miles. Much 
volcanic scoria, vesicular lava, and pudding-stone, intermingled with 
blocks of trap, and many crystals of quartz, occur. My attention was 
called to this particularly by old Mr. Moore, who had set up his claims 
to the west side of the falls, communicating to me in confidence that 
he intended to erect furnaces for smelting iron, &c. Although I saw 
the old man some time afterwards, and told him of his mistake, he 
would not believe that he had been in error. On the rocks are to be 
seen large knots of lamprey eels, worming themselves up, which make 
them look at a little distance as if alive with snakes. 

After spending some time at the falls, we returned to the house, and 
thence passed over to the west side of the river in a boat. Plumondon 
informed us that all our baggage had been transported over the portage, 
which is about a third of a mile in length. 

On landing, we passed through an Indian village, which was abso- 
lutely swarming with fleas ; a filthier place cannot be found in Oregon. 
Before we reached our boat, a heavy shower of rain overtook us, and 
gave us a good drenching; we, however, embarked for Camp Maude 
du Sable. We now found our progress very different from what we 
had made below the falls : the current was strong, and we made but 
little headway; our boatmen being intent upon taking advantage of 
the smallest eddies, we were continually crossing and recrossing the 
river for this purpose. The banks had become much higher and more 
picturesque. This part of the river is considered dangerous when the 
water is high, and accidents frequently occur; for this reason, the 
Indians in passing are still in the habit of making a propitiatory offering 
of some of their food, such as dried salmon or peas, in order that they 
may have a safe passage by. Before night we encamped just above 


the Stony Islands, on a barren point of land, at some height above the 
river, where we found several mosses in flower, which we had not met 
with before. 

At this season of the year, the river is not high : its rise usually 
takes place in February and March, when it becomes very much 
swollen, and with its tributaries does much damage. These floods, 
however, are of very short duration, for the descent is so rapid that 
the waters are soon discharged. It was raining quite hard when we 
passed Camp Maude du Sable, a sandy point just at the opening out 
of the Willamette Valley, which was one of the points originally 
occupied when the river was first explored by the whites. About two 
miles further up the river is Champooing, eighteen miles above the 
falls, which we reached at about 4 p. M. Here we found a few log 
houses, one of which belonged to a Mr. Johnson, who gave us a 
hearty welcome. Mr. Johnson was formerly a trapper in the Hudson 
Bay Company's service, but has begun to farm here. He invited us 
to take up our quarters with him, and although they were not very 
pleasant in appearance, we thought it better to accept the invitation 
than to pitch our tents on the wet ground in the rain. To reach his 
dwelling, we passed through water over our shoes. The house had 
little the appearance of belonging to a white man, but his welcome 
made amends for many things. We were soon installed in his bed- 
room, where, in looking round, my eye was arrested by a print of the 
capture of the frigate Guerriere by the Constitution, which led me to 
speak concerning it, when I found he had been in that action. This at 
once made us old friends, for I found him familiar with the character 
of all our naval men, and I had much pleasure in listening to his 
anecdotes, and hearing him speak in high terms of many of those 
officers to whom I feel personally attached. It was delightful to hear 
his unvarnished account of Commodore Hull's coolness and conduct 
in the action. Johnson asked many questions about the young officers 
he had known. I was equally diverted with his own adventures. 
Finding, after the excitement of war was over, he could not be con- 
tent to lead a quiet life, he determined to adopt the business of trapping. 
In this he was engaged until the last few years, when he had settled 
himself down here, and taken an Indian girl for his wife, by whom he 
had several children. To the latter he said he was desirous of giving 
a good education, and for this purpose he had engaged old Mr. Moore, 
from Illinois, to pass several months with him. Johnson had all the 
easy and independent character of a trapper; yet I could still per- 
ceive that he had hanging about him somewhat of the feeling of disci- 
pline that he had acquired in the service. His Indian wife is extremely 


useful in making every thing, besides taking care of the household 
concerns, and is rather pretty. Johnson's estimate of her was that 
she was worth "half a dozen civilized wives." There is little clean- 
liness, however, about his house, and many of the duties are left to 
two young male slaves, of Indian blood, but of what tribe I did not 
learn. Johnson's farm consists of about forty acres under cultivation : 
his wheat and potatoes were flourishing, and he had a tolerable 
kitchen-garden. He has some little stock, but complained much of the 
Oregon tiger, or American panther. These voracious animals are 
numerous and bold : the night before we arrived, they had entered the 
pen and killed a calf, regardless of the dogs; and an alarm was 
given on the night of our stay, when all the guns were in requisition, 
and noise enough was made in getting ready, to scare away dozens of 

We were informed that there are plenty of elk, and deer, and that 
the grizzly bear is also common. The flesh of the latter animal is 
very much esteemed. Wild ducks and geese are quite numerous in 
the spring and fall, covering the rivers, lakes, and ponds. 

There are four houses and three lodges in sight of Johnson's farm, 
whence all the neighbours called to see us. They were just the sort 
of men one would expect to see in such a place. One was an old 
man by the name of Cannon, who had been one of the party with 
Lewis and Clarke, and was from his own account the only remaining 
one in the country. He likes the country, and says he thinks there 
is no necessity for Dr. M'Laughlin's authority or laws to govern it. 

Old Moore had some shrewdness, and was exceedingly talkative; 
he possessed much information in relation to the country he had passed 
through, which I found to correspond to what I have since received 
from other sources. He had crossed the mountains the year before, 
and found no difficulty in making the trip. He intends to return and 
bring out his family? being of opinion that the country is a fine one, 
and exceedingly healthy, and that it will compare well with the lands 
of Missouri and Illinois. The great objection to the upper country, 
on the route by which we travelled, was the want of wood. 

Another of these men was named George Gay, of whom I shall 
speak hereafter. 

We found this, as I said before, a dirty house : the people were idle 
and fond of lounging, and all I have yet seen are uncombed and un- 

These people were quite alive on the subject of laws, courts, and 
magistrates, including governors, judges, &c. I was here informed 
that a committee had been appointed to wait upon me on my arrival 


at the mission, to hold a consultation relative to the establishment of 
settled governments. Johnson, trapper-like, took what I thought the 
soundest view, saying that they yet lived in the bush, and let all do 
right, there was no necessity for laws, lawyers, or magistrates. 

Having our camp equipage with us, together with plenty of pro- 
visions, our servant managed without putting him or his wife to much 
inconvenience ; and although we passed an uncomfortable night, fight- 
ing with the fleas, yet we both agreed it was better than if we had 
been in our tents. 

In the morning we found horses waiting, under charge of Michel 
La Framboise, who is in the employ of the Company, and was very 
happy to see us. He originally came out in the ship Tonquin, and 
was one of the party that landed at Astoria, where he has resided ever 
since, either in the employ of the Northwest or Hudson Bay Com- 
pany. Michel is of low stature, and rather corpulent, but he has 
great energy and activity of both mind and body, indomitable courage, 
and all the vivacity of a Frenchman. He has travelled in all parts of 
the country, and says that he has a wife of high rank in every tribe, 
by which means he has insured his safety. From him I derived 
much information, and to him all parties refer as possessing the most 
accurate knowledge of the country. He generally has charge of a 
party, and was formerly engaged in trapping ; but of late years pass- 
ing through the country to California and back. Had it not been for 
his proneness to dissipation, I am informed he would have risen in 
the Company's service. To me he complained that he had not re- 
ceived what he considered his due, and that he was no better off than 
twenty years before, saying, " he was still Michel La Framboise, only 

I was glad to meet with a guide of such intelligence ; and having 
mounted our horses, we rode through the Willamette Valley. In it 
we passed many small farms, of from fifty to one hundred acres, 
belonging to the old servants of the Company, Canadians, who have 
settled here : they all appear very comfortable and thriving. We stop- 
ped for a few hours at the Catholic Mission, twelve miles from Cham- 
pooing, to call upon the Rev. Mr. Bachelet, to whom I had a note of 
introduction, from Dr. M'Laughlin, and who received me with great 
kindness. Mr. Bachelet is here settled among his flock, and is doing 
great good to the settlers in ministering to their temporal as well as 
spiritual wants. 

He spoke to me much about the system of laws the minority of the 
settlers were desirous of establishing, but which he had objected to, 
and advised his people to refuse to co-operate in; for he was of opinion 




that the number of settlers in the Willamette Valley would not war- 
rant the establishment of a constitution, and as far as his people were 
concerned there was certainly no necessity for one, nor had he any 
knowledge of crime having been yet committed. 

Annexed to Mr. Bachelet's house is a small chapel, fully capable of 
containing the present congregation. 

They are erecting a large and comfortable house for Mr. Bachelet, 
after which it is intended to extend the chapel. These houses are 
situated on the borders of an extensive level prairie, which is very 
fertile, having a rich deep alluvial soil ; they also have near them a 
forest of pine, oak, &c. They are now occupied in turning up the 
fields for the first time. Mr. Bachelet informed me that it was in- 
tended to take enough of land under cultivation to supply a large com- 
munity, that will be attached to the mission; for it is the intention to 
establish schools here, for the instruction of the Indians as well as the 
Canadians and other settlers. He has already ten Indian children 
under his care. Mr. Bachelet informed me that, the mission had been 
established about a year, and that it had already done much good. 
When he first arrived all the settlers were living with Indian women, 
whom they have since married, and thus legalized the connexion. 
This was the first step he had taken towards their moral improvement, 
and he had found it very successful. There were about thirty Cana- 
dian families settled here, besides about twenty persons who have no 
fixed residence, and are labourers. The number of Indians is esti- 
mated at between four and five hundred, including all tribes, sexes, 
and ages. The district under Mr. Bachelet's superintendence takes 
in about fifty square miles, including the Willamette Valley, Faulitz, 
and Yam-Hill Plains, and extending below the Willamette Falls as 
far as the Klackamus river. The number of white residents, in- 
cluding the missionaries of both denominations, is thought to be about 

Mr. Drayton, Michel, and myself, dined with Mr. Bachelet, on 
oatmeal porridge, venison, strawberries, and cream. This hospitality 
was tendered with good and kind feelings, and with a gentlemanly 
deportment that spoke much in his favour, and made us regret to leave 
his company so soon. 

When we reached Michel's house, he left us, finding there was no 
further need for his services, as we were now accompanied by Plu- 
mondon, Johnson, George Gay, and one or two other guides, with 

We soon after came to some American and English settlers, and 
then entered on the grounds of the Methodist Mission. One of the 

W I L L A M E T T E V A L L E Y. 351 

first sights that caught my eye was a patent threshing machine in the 
middle of the road, that seemed to have been there for a length of time 
totally neglected. 

We rode on to the log houses which the Messrs. Lee built when 
they first settled here. In the neighbourhood are the wheelright's and 
blacksmith's, together with their work-shops, belonging to the mission, 
and, about a mile to the east, the hospital, built by Dr. White, who 
was formerly attached to this mission. I was informed by many of 
the settlers that this gentleman had rendered very essential service to 
this district. His connexion with the mission was dissolved when he 
returned to the United States.* 

The hospital is now used for dwellings by some of the missionaries. 
It is, perhaps, the best building in Oregon, and accommodates at 
present four families: it is a well-built frame edifice, with a double 
piazza in front. Mr. Abernethy and his wife entertained us kindly. 
He is the secular agent of the mission. Order and neatness prevail in 
their nice apartments, where they made us very comfortable, and gave 
us such hospitality as we should receive at home. It seemed an out- 
of-the-way place to find persons of delicate habits, struggling with 
difficulties such as they have to encounter, and overcoming them with 
cheerfulness and good temper. 

Near the hospital are two other houses, built of logs, in one of which 
Dr. Babcock, the physician of the mission, lives. 

We paid Dr. Babcock a visit in the evening, and found him com- 
fortably lodged. He stated to me that the country was healthy, 
although during the months of August and September, they were 
subject to fever and ague on the low grounds, but in high and dry 
situations he believed they would be free from it. A few other diseases 
existed, but they were of a mild character, and readily yielded to 
simple remedies. He is also of opinion that the fever and ague becomes 
milder each season, as the individuals become acclimated. 

The lands of the Methodist Mission are situated on the banks of the 
Willamette river, on a rich plain adjacent to fine forests of oak and 
pine. They are about eight miles beyond the Catholic Mission, conse- 
quently eighteen miles from Champooing, in a southern direction. 
Their fields are well enclosed, and we passed a large one of wheat, 
which we understood was self-sown by the last year's crop, which had 
been lost through neglect. The crop so lost amounted to nearly a 
thousand bushels, and it is supposed that this year's crop will yield 
twenty-five bushels to the acre. About all the premises of this mission 

* Dr. White has since returned to Oregon, in the capacity of Indian Agent. 


there was an evident want of the attention required to keep things in 
repair, and an absence of neatness that I regretted much to witness. 
We had the expectation of getting a sight of the Indians on whom they 
were inculcating good habits and teaching the word of God; but with 
the exception of four Indian servants, we saw none since leaving the 
Catholic Mission. On inquiring, I was informed that they had a school 
of twenty pupils, some ten miles distant, at the mill; that there were 
but few adult Indians in the neighbourhood ; and that their intention 
and principal hope was to establish a colony, and by their example to 
induce the white settlers to locate near those over whom they trusted 
to exercise a moral and religious influence. 

A committee of five, principally lay members of the mission, waited 
upon me to consult and ask my advice relative to the establishment of 
laws, &c. After hearing attentively all their arguments and reasons 
for this change, I could see none sufficiently strong to induce the step. 
No crime appears yet to have been committed, and the persons and 
property of settlers are secure. Their principal reasons appear to me 
to be, that it would give them more importance in the eyes of others at 
a distance, and induce settlers to flock in, thereby raising the value of 
their farms and stock. I could not view this subject in such a light, 
and differed with them entirely as to the necessity or policy of adopting 
the change. 

1st. On account of their want of right, as those wishing for laws 
were, in fact, a small minority of the settlers. 

2d. That these were not yet necessary even by their own account. 

3d. That any laws they might establish would be a poor substitute 
for the moral code they all now followed, and that evil-doers would 
not be disposed to settle near a community entirely opposed to their 

4th. The great difficulty they would have in enforcing any laws, 
and defining the limits over which they had control, and the discord 
this might occasion in their small community. 

5th. They not being the majority, and the larger part of the popu- 
lation being Catholics, the latter would elect officers of their party, and 
they would thus place themselves entirely under the control of others. 

6th. The unfavourable impressions it would produce at home, from 
the belief that the missions had admitted that in a community brought 
together by themselves they had not enough of moral force to control 
it and prevent crime, and therefore must have recourse to a crirnin J 

From my own observation and the information I had obtained, I 
was well satisfied that laws were not needed, and were not desired 


by the Catholic portion of the settlers. I therefore could not avoid 
drawing their attention to the fact, that after all the various officers 
they proposed making were appointed, there would be no subjects 
for the law to deal with. I further advised them to wait until the 
government of the United States should throw its mantle over them. 
These views, I was afterwards told, determined a postponement of their 

Dr. Babcock and others, myself and officers, were tendered an invi- 
tation from the American settlers of the Willamette, to partake of a 
4th of July dinner with them, which I was obliged to decline, on 
account of the various duties that pressed upon us. 

The next day the gentlemen of the mission proposed a ride to what 
they term " the Mill," distant about nine miles, in a southeast direction. 

We passed, in going thither, several fine prairies, both high and low. 
The soil on the higher is of a gravelly or light nature, while on the 
lower it is a dark loam, intermixed with a bluish clay. The prairies 
are at least one-third greater in extent than the forest : they were again 
seen carpeted with the most luxuriant growth of flowers, of the richest 
tints of red, yellow, and blue, extending in places a distance of fifteen 
to twenty miles. 

The timber we saw consisted of the live and white oak, cedar, pine, 
and fir. 

We reached "the Mill" by noon, which consists of a small grist and 
saw mill on the borders of an extensive prairie. They are both under 
the same roof, and are worked by a horizontal wheel. The grist-mill 
will not grind more than ten bushels a day ; and during the whole 
summer both mills are idle, for want of water, the stream on which 
they are situated being a very small one, emptying into the Willamette. 
We found here two good log houses, and about twenty lay members, 
mechanics, of the mission under Mr. Raymond, who is the principal 
at the mills. There are, besides, about twenty-five Indian boys, who, 
I was told, were not in a condition to be visited or inspected. Those 
whom I saw were nearly grown up, ragged and half-clothed, lounging 
about under the trees. Their appearance was any thing but pleasing 
and satisfactory ; and I must own I was greatly disappointed, for I 
had been led to expect that order and neatness at least would have 
been found among them, considering the strong force of missionaries 
engaged here. 

From the number of persons about the premises, this little spot had 
the air and stir of a new secular settlement ; and I understood that 
it is intended to be the permanent location of the mission, being 
considered more healthy than the bank of the Willamette. The 

VOL. IV. 2E2 45 


missionaries, as they told me, have made individual selections of lands 
to the amount of one thousand acres each, in prospect of the whole 
country falling under our laws. 

We received an invitation from Mr. Raymond to take dinner, which 
we accepted ; previous to which, I rode about two miles, to the situa- 
tion selected by the Rev. Mr. Hines, in company with that gentleman. 
On our way, he pointed out to me the site selected for the seminary, 
&c. We found Mr. Hines's family encamped under some oak trees, 
in a beautiful prairie, to which place he had but just removed; he 
intended putting up his house at once, and they had the ordinary com- 
forts about them. We returned, and found the table well spread with 
good things, consisting of salmon, pork, potted cheese, strawberries 
and cream, and nice hot cakes, and an ample supply for the large 

We were extremely desirous of obtaining information relative to the 
future plans of these missionaries as to teaching and otherwise for- 
warding the civilization of the Indian boys ; but from all that we could 
learn from the missionaries, as well as lay members, my impression 
was, that no fixed plan of operations has yet been digested ; and I was 
somewhat surprised to hear them talking of putting up extensive build- 
ings for missionary purposes, when it is fully apparent that there is but 
a very limited field for spiritual operations in this part of the country. 
The number now attached and under tuition are probably all that can 
be converted, and it does not exceed the number of those attached to 
the mission. I was exceedingly desirous of drawing their attention to 
the tribes of the north, which are a much more numerous and hardier 
race, with a healthy climate. It is true that a mission station has been 
established at Nisqually, but they are doing nothing with the native 
tribes, and that post is only on the borders of many larger tribes to the 
northward. As the holders of a charge, committed to their hands by 
a persevering and enlightened class of Christians at home, who are 
greatly interested in their doings and actions, they will be held respon- 
sible for any neglect in the great cause they have undertaken to 
advance, and in which much time and money have already been 

That all may judge of the extent of this field of missionary labours 
I will enumerate the numbers of Indians within its limits. Nisqually, 
two hundred ; Clatsop, two hundred and nine; Chinooks, two hundred 
and twenty; Kilamukes, four hundred; Callapuyas, six hundred; 
Dalles, two hundred and fifty: say in all this district, two thousand 
Indians; and this field is in part occupied by the Catholics, as I have 
before stated. Of these, the Methodist missionaries have under their 


instruction, if so it may be called, twenty-five at the Willamette 
station ; at the Dalles, and occasionally on the Klackamus river, are 
the only places where divine service is attempted. I would not have 
it understood that by these remarks I have any desire to throw blame 
on those who direct or are concerned in this missionary enterprise, or 
to make any imputations on the labourers ; but I feel it a duty I owe 
my countrymen, to lay the truth before them, such as we saw it. I 
am aware that the missionaries come out to this country to colonize, 
and with the Christian religion as their guide and law, to give the 
necessary instruction, and hold out inducements to the Indians to quit 
their wandering habits, settle, and become cultivators of the soil. This 
object has not been yet attained in any degree, as was admitted by the 
missionaries themselves; and how it is to be effected without having 
constantly around them large numbers, and without exertions and 
strenuous efforts, I am at a loss to conceive. I cannot but believe, 
that the same labour and money which have been expended here, 
would have been much more appropriately and usefully spent among 
the tribes about the Straits of Juan de Fuca, who are numerous, and 
fit objects for instruction. 

At the Rev. Mr. Hines's I had another long conversation relative to 
the laws, &c. The only instance (which speaks volumes for the good 
order of the settlers), of any sort of crime being committed since the 
foundation of the settlement, was the stealing of a horse ; and a settler 
who had been detected stealing his neighbour's pigs, by enticing them 
to his house, dropping them into his cellar, where they were slaughtered 
and afterwards eaten. The theft was discovered by the numbers of 
bones frequently found around his premises. He was brought to a 
confession, and compelled to pay the value of the stolen hogs, simply 
by the force of public opinion. 

We took leave of Mr. Raymond and his party, wishing them success 
in their labours, and rode back over the fine prairies at a full gallop, in 
the direction that seemed most convenient to save us distance. We 
stopped for a short time to take leave of Mr. and Mrs. Abernethy, and 
then passed to the site of the old mission on the banks of the Willa- 
mette. The river here makes a considerable bend, and has undermined 
and carried away its banks to some extent : a short distance beyond, it 
is making rapid inroads into the rich soil of these bottom lands. The 
log houses have the character that all old log houses acquire, and I was 
warned, if I desired to pass a comfortable night, to avoid them. 

This is the usual place of crossing the river, which is too deep to be 
forded, and about two hundred yards wide. Its banks were twenty 
feet high, and composed of stratified layers of alluvium. On the shore 


of the river, which consists of a shingle beach some two hundred feet 
wide, are to be found cornelians, agates, and chalcedony, among the 
loose pieces of basalt of which it is composed. The current was found 
to run at the rate of three miles an hour, although the water was said 
to be low. An old canoe was procured, in which we passed over, 
while one of the horses was led, and swam by its side : the rest were 
driven into the water, and followed to the opposite side. Here we met 
George Gay, who was travelling with his Indian wife : he told us that 
he would join us on our trip to the Yam Hills, which we proposed to 
make the next day. 

We found our camp established by Plumondon, near the residence 
of Mr. O'Neill, formerly the property of the Rev. Mr. Leslie : it lies 
about a mile from the river, in a pretty, oval prairie, containing about 
three or four hundred acres, with a fine wood encircling it. Sixty of 
these are under cultivation ; about forty in wheat, that was growing 

Three years since, O'Neill came to the valley with only a shirt to his 
back, as he expressed it : he began by working part of this farm, and 
obtained the loan of cattle and other articles from Dr. M'Laughlin, all 
of which he has, from the natural increase of his stock and out of his 
crops, since repaid. He has bought the farm, has two hundred head of 
stock, horses to ride on, and a good suit of clothes, all earned by his 
own industry ; and he says it is only necessary for him to work one 
month in the year to make a living: the rest of the time he may amuse 
himself. He spoke in the highest terms of Dr. M'Laughlin, and the 
generous aid he had afforded him in the beginning. This farm is the 
best we have seen, in every respect ; and it is not only well arranged, 
but has many advantages from its location. The success of O'Neill 
is a proof of what good education and industrious habits will do, and it 
is pleasing to see the happiness and consideration they produce. Mr. 
O'Neill is also a mechanic, and has gained much of his wealth in that 
way : he ploughs and reaps himself, and is assisted by a few Indians, 
whom he has the tact to manage. He has a neat kitchen-garden, and 
every thing that a person in his situation can desire. 

The Rev. Mr. Leslie, who lives with O'Neill, invited us to the hospi- 
tality of his roof, but we preferred our camp to putting him to any 

The next day (9th of June) we started for the Yam Hills, which 
divide the valleys of the Willamette and Faulitz. They are of }>u f 
moderate elevation : the tops are easily reached on horseback, and 
every part of them which I saw was deemed susceptible of cultivation. 
The soil is a reddish clay, and bears few marks of any wash from the 


rains. These hills are clothed to the very top with grass, and afford 
excellent pasturage for cattle, of which many were seen feeding on 
them. On our route through the Yam Hills, we passed many settlers' 
establishments. From their top, the view is not unlike that from Mount 
Holyoke, in Massachusetts, and the country appears as if it were as 
much improved by the hand of civilization. The oak trees sprinkled 
over the hills and bottoms have a strong resemblance to the apple- 
orchards. The extent of country we looked over is from twenty-five to 
thirty miles, all of which is capable of being brought to the highest state 
of cultivation. There are in truth few districts like that of the valley 
of the Faulitz. 

We passed one or two brick-kilns, and finally reached the new resi- 
dence of George Gay, one of the most remote on this side of the river. 
George had reached home with his wife and two children not long 
before us. His dwelling was to all appearance a good shanty, which 
contains all his valuables. George is of that lazy kind of lounging 
figure so peculiar to a backwoodsman or Indian. He has a pretty and 
useful Indian wife, who does his bidding, takes care of his children and 
horses, and guards his household and property. The latter is not 
bulky, for superfluities with George are not to be found, and when he 
and his wife and children are seen travelling, it is manifest that his all 
is with him. George is a useful member of society in this small com- 
munity: he gelds and marks cattle, breaks horses in, and tames cows 
for milking, assists in finding and driving cattle, in short, he under- 
takes all and every sort of singular business ; few things are deemed 
by him impossibilities ; and lastly, in the words of one of the settlers, 
" George is not a man to be trifled or fooled with." I felt, when I had 
him for my guide, that there were few difficulties he could not over- 
come. He is full as much of an Indian in habits as a white man can 
be. He told me he bore the Indians no love, and is indeed a terror to 
them, having not unfrequently applied Lynch law to some of them with 
much effect. The account he gave of himself is, that he was born of 
English parents, but became, before he had grown up, more than half 
Indian, and was now fully their match. I will add, that he is quite 
equal to them in artifice. He passes for the best lasso-thrower in the 
country, and is always ready to eat, sleep, or frolic: his wife and 
children are to him as his trappings. He has with all this many good 
points about him. I have seen him, while travelling with me, dart off 
for half a mile to assist a poor Indian boy who was unable to catch his 
horse, lasso the horse, put the boy on, and return at full gallop. All 
this was done in a way that showed it to be his every-day practice ; and 


his general character throughout the settlement is, that George is ever 
ready to help those in trouble. 

On our return towards the road, we passed the farm of one of Dr. 
M'Laughlin's sons, who has settled here, and has an extensive portion 
of the prairie fenced in. This part of Willamette Valley is a prolonged 
level, of miles in extent, circumscribed by the woods, which have the 
appearance of being attended to and kept free from undergrowth. This 
is difficult to account for, except through the agency of fire destroying 
the seeds. The Indians are in the habit of burning the country yearly, 
in September, for the purpose of drying and procuring the seeds of the 
sunflower, which they are thus enabled to gather with more ease, and 
which form a large portion of their food. That this is the case appears 
more probable from the fact that since the whites have had possession 
of the country, the undergrowth is coming up rapidly in places. 

In passing through the Willamette, I had a good opportunity of 
contrasting the settlers of different countries ; and, while those of 
French descent appeared the most contented, happy, and comfortable, 
those of the Anglo-Saxon race showed mpre of the appearance of 
business, and the " go-ahead" principle so much in vogue at home. 

The most perfect picture of content I saw was a French Canadian 
by the name of La Bonte, on the Yam Hill river, who had been a long 
time in the service of the Hudson Bay Company. This man was very 
attentive to us, and assisted in getting our horses across the river, 
which, though but a few rods wide, is yet deep and attended with 
much difficulty in passing. 

The sudden rises of this river are somewhat remarkable and difficult 
to be accounted for, as there does not appear from the face of the 
country to be much ground drained by it. The perpendicular height 
of the flood is, at times, as much as thirty feet, which was marked 
very distinctly on the trees growing on its banks. 

Having heard that the farm of the late Mr. Young was the most 
beautiful spot in this section of the country, I determined to visit it, and 
for this purpose crossed the Yam Hills again. When we reached the 
top, we again had a view of the Faulitz Plains, which were highly 
picturesque. The hills here were covered, as we had found them 
before, with wall-flowers, lupines, scilla, and quantities of ripe straw- 
berries. Mr. Young's farm is situated in a valley, running east and 
west, which seems to unite that of Willamette and Faulitz. The 
situation did not meet my high-raised expectations, though it is fine. 
Mr. Young was one of the first pioneers and settlers in this country 
and met with much difficulty. At one time he was desirous of esta- 


Wishing a distillery, but through the influence of Mr. Slacum, who was 
on a visit to Oregon as an agent of our government, he relinquished 
the idea, notwithstanding he had already incurred considerable ex- 

Mr. Young was, at the time, of opinion that unless they had cattle, 
to which he believed the country was well adapted, they never coulcl 
succeed in creating a successful settlement, and it was necessary to go 
to considerable expense to obtain them from California, as the Hudson 
Bay Company, or rather the Puget Sound Company, would not part 
with any. Mr. Slacum generously offered to advance the money 
necessary, and to give as many Americans as desired it, a free passage 
to San Francisco, in California, there to purchase stock and to drive 
them through to the Willamette. This was accordingly done, and 
after many difficulties, the cattle reached the Willamette in 1839. Mr. 
Young took charge of the share of Mr. Slacum, which then amounted 
to twenty-three. Previous to our arrival on the Northwest Coast, we 
heard from the United States of the death of Mr. Slacum, and on our 
arrival there that of Mr. Young was also made known to me. The 
funds and property of Mr. Young, by general consent of the settlers, 
were put into the hands of the Rev. Mr. Leslie, who acted as adminis- 
trator, and informed me that at the division of Mr. Young's cattle, 
eighty-six had been put aside as the share of Mr. Slacum, after the 
proportion of loss and accidents had been deducted, making the in- 
crease in four years, sixty-three. Of these cattle no other care had 
ever been taken than to drive them into the pens for protection at 
night. Mr. Slacum's share was subsequently sold at the request of his 
nephew, who w r as a midshipman on board my ship, to Dr. M'Laughlin 
for eight hundred and sixty dollars ten dollars a head. 

The Willamette is now, through the interest felt and advances made 
by Mr. Slacum, well supplied with cattle, which are fast increasing in 

We found the farm of Mr. Young very much out of order, although 
I understood that two persons had been put in charge of it on wages at 
one dollar a day. The farm-house at which we stopped, was entirely 
open, and every thing seemed to be going fast to ruin. Johnson, in 
hunting about the premises, found a sick man, a native of the Sandwich 
Islands, lying in a bunk. In a small kitchen half a pig was hanging 
by its hind legs, roasting over a slow fire; and every thing seemed 
in confusion. We did not stay long, but rode on to his saw-mill, 
which we found in ruins. It was badly located, although erected at 
much expense, for there was little timber of value in the neighbour- 
hood. Shortly after Mr. Young's death the mill-dam was washed 


away, and there was no money to erect it again, even if it had been 
thought desirable to do so. We found it wholly deserted. I was 
desirous of having some further search made for the bones of a masto- 
don, parts of whose skeleton had been obtained by Captain Goach, 
master of a small vessel engaged in the salmon-fishery, a few months 
before our arrival. On the locality being pointed out, I found that the 
mass of the dam and other alluvial deposits had been heaped upon 
the place, and created such an obstruction as would have rendered 
their removal an herculean task, and have required some weeks' 

Neither I nor my officers had time to spare to accomplish this task ; 
besides, it was very probable that the bones, which had been repre- 
sented to me as nearly denuded prior to the flood, had been washed 
away and lost. The bank in which the bones were found is composed 
of red marl and gravel. 

After leaving the mill, we had a long ride before us ; for it was our 
intention to reach Champooing before dark. The country, as we 
approached that place, became much more thickly settled, and the 
ground stony. Before dark we reached a deserted house, belonging 
to George Gay, opposite to Champooing, and formerly occupied by 
Mr. Young. Finding the stream difficult to cross, we determined to 
take up our quarters in this house. About two miles from our stop- 
ping-place, we passed some salt springs, to which the cattle and game 
resort in great numbers : they are strongly saline, and cover a con- 
siderable extent of ground. This is considered, as Johnson informed 
me, the best grazing ground for their cattle. 

In consequence of the baggage-horses and party losing their way, 
they did not reach the camp until near midnight. 

Shortly after our arrival, George Gay was employed "to break 
in," as he called it, a cow for milking ! This operation, as performed 
by George, however necessary, was not calculated to raise him in any 
one's opinion, and therefore I shall not venture upon a description, 
farther than to say, that the treatment the poor beast received was in 
my opinion as unnecessary as it was cruel. 

In the evening, we had a visit from Mr. Moore and several of the 
other neighbours, and I was much amused with the various accounts 
they gave of their trappers' life. I must here express the correct 
views they entertained relative to the introduction of spirits into the 
settlement. To my surprise, they seemed to be of an unanimous 
opinion that spirituous liquors would soon destroy them ; and since 
Mr. Slacum's visit they have entered into an agreement among them- 
selves to forego their use. It is a wise determination, and as long as 


adhered to the country will thrive. But should this pest be introduced, 
the vice of drunkenness will probably reach a height unknown else- 
where ; for such is the ease with which a livelihood is gained here, 
that persons may be supported, and indeed grow rich, in idleness. 
According to the inhabitants, one month in a year of labour is all that 
is required for a comfortable support. This labour consists in preparing 
the ground, putting the seed into it, and when it is ripe, reaping the 
harvest. Cattle, as I have before said, require no protection or care, 
except to guard them from the wolves. Two-thirds of the time of the 
settlers is consequently at their own disposal ; and unless education, 
with its moral influence, is attended to strictly in this young settlement, 
these very advantages will prove its curse. On the missionaries who 
have settled here will depend in a great measure the future character 
of the inhabitants ; and on them also will rest the responsibility of 
maintaining the morals, as well as superintending the education, of the 
rising population. I trust they will both see and feel the great neces- 
sity of that strict attention to their duties necessary to insure success. 

In the morning, before dawn, the two Indian boys belonging to 
Johnson came over to our hut for the purpose of looking for their 
milk-pans. Unknown to us, we had laid on its side, for a seat, a 
cupboard which contained them. This the boys came in search of, 
and in their haste awoke Mr. Drayton, who naturally thought they 
intended to steal some of our things : he accordingly pelted them with 
our boots and shoes, and all other articles that came to hand. This 
aroused us all, when a general outcry was raised, and the Indian boys 
made a precipitate retreat, not, however, before they had secured one 
of the objects of their search. 

After breakfast, we crossed the river to Johnson's, and I was, on 
this second visit, more impressed with the filth, both in and out doors 
than before. 

It was now determined that Mr. Drayton should take the boat 
down the river, and that I should pass through the eastern part of the 
Willamette Valley on horseback, to reach the falls by dark. This 
George Gay said could be easily done, with fresh and good horses. 
Taking him as a guide, I set off, and after passing a few miles, we 
crossed a low ridge of rough rocky ground, of trap formation, about 
a mile wide: it was well wooded with pines and firs. After passing 
the ridge, we again entered on fine prairies, part of the farm of 
Dr. Bailey. This was one of the most comfortable I had yet seen, 
and was certainly in the neatest order. Dr. Bailey had married 
one of the girls who came out with the missionaries, and the mistress 
of the establishment was as pleasing as it was well conducted. Dr. 

VOL. iv. 2F 46 


Bailey desiring to accompany us to the falls, I gladly concluded to 
await their dinner, and before it was served had an opportunity of 
looking about the premises. The locality resembles the prairies I have 
so often spoken of, but there was something in the arrangements of the 
farm that seemed advanced beyond the other settlements of the country. 
The garden was, in particular, exceedingly well kept, aqd had in it all 
the best vegetables of our own country. This was entirely the work 
of Mrs. Bailey, whose activity could not rest content until it was 
accomplished. She had followed the mission as a teacher, until she 
found there was no field for labour. She had been in hope that the 
great missionary field to the north, of which I have before spoken, 
would be occupied; but this being neglected, she had left them 

Dr. Bailey had been the practising physician of the mission. He 
had been several years in the country, and was one of a party that, 
while passing through to California, was attacked by the Indians in 
their camp, and nearly all murdered. Dr. Bailey, after being severely 
wounded, made his escape, and returned to the Willamette ; but he 
bears the marks of several wounds on his head and face. He spoke 
well of the country, considers it fruitful, and healthy for white men ; 
and that it would be so for the Indians, if they could be persuaded to 
take care of themselves. The ague and fever, though common on the 
low prairies, was not of a dangerous type, and after the first attack, 
those of subsequent years were less violent, even if it did occur, which 
was rare. The climate, however, was very destructive to the Indians, 
of whom at least one-fourth died off yearly. 

When an Indian is sick, and considered beyond moving, he is 
poisoned by the medicine-man ; for which purpose a decoction of the 
wild cucumber (Bryonia) is given him. Some of the roots of this 
plant grow to a very large size; and I saw some at Mr. Waller's 
three feet long by twelve inches in diameter. 

Dr. Bailey also related to me an anecdote of Mr. Farnham,* who 
has written upon Oregon. A few days before the latter left the coun- 
try, they w r ere lost in the woods, and were obliged to pass a cold and 
dark night up to their ankles in mire: this the Doctor thought had 
cured his enthusiasm ; and the first news he received of him was his 
violent attack upon the country on which, a few months before, he had 
written so strong a panegyric. 

The next farm I stopped at was that of Mr. Walker, who came 

* Mr. Farnham hnd Ixrn staying with Dr. Bniley, and had prepared during thnt time the 
memorial of the pi-tilers to ('impress, speaking of it in the highest and most exalted terms, 
and was one of the most enthusiastic in its praise. His account subsequently given of 
Oregon, differs very materially from the memorial. 


from Missouri, with all his family, last year: he did not like the 
country, and wished to go to California by the first opportunity. His 
principal objection, he told me, was to the climate, which was too wet 
for business. He said that the land was good, but only for crops of 
small grain, which there is no market for, nor is there a probability 
of one for some time. Indian corn cannot be raised : it was, however, 
a first-rate grazing country. He was a good specimen of a border- 
man, and appeared to think nothing of a change of domicile, although 
he is much past the middle age, with grown-up sons and daughters 
around him. He intended to go to California, and if the country did 
not please him, he would travel home by way of Mexico. His family 
consisted of eight or ten persons.* 

George Gay now thought it proper to notify me that we ought not 
to delay any longer, as we had to cross the Powder river, and he did 
not know the state it was in. After a hard gallop, we reached that 
stream at the usual fording-place. We, however, found that it was 
entirely filled with drift-wood, and impassable at that place for our 
horses. This difficulty was soon obviated, for while we were trans- 
porting the saddles, &c., across the raft of timber, he had searched 
out a place where the horses might cross, and dashed in on one of 
them, while we drove the others into the river. We were soon 
mounted again, and on our way. This stream is about four hun- 
dred feet wide, and then about twenty feet deep. Quantities of large 
and fine timber were locked together, until they entirely covered the 

The country now became exceedingly rough, overgrown with 
brushwood, and in places wet and miry. It was chiefly covered with 
heavy pine timber. From Dr. Bailey I learned that the small prairies 
we occasionally passed were not capable of cultivation, owing to their 
being flooded after a few hours of rain. 

A few miles further on we passed the Little Powder river, which 
was termed fordable, though the horses were obliged to swim it, after 
which Gay gave me a specimen of his rapid mode of riding. Having 
made up my mind to follow, I kept after him, and on my arrival at the 
falls, could not help congratulating myself that we had reached our 
destination in safety, for the last few miles of the route was a sort of 
break-neck one. 

At the falls I found Mr. Drayton comfortably encamped, and Mr. 
and Mrs. Waller again pressed us to partake of their hospitality. I 

* Mr. Walker subsequently joined the party I sent across to California, from the Willa- 
mette, and then entered the service of Mr. Suter. 


occupied the evening in getting my usual observations for latitude and 

Mr. Drayton desiring to stay a longer time at the falls, to procure 
as many specimens of fish as he could, and make drawings, I deter- 
mined to return to Vancouver without him ; which I did by the 
following day at sunset. On the way I stopped at the boat-builders' 
camp, who I found had made great progress in their undertaking, and 
appeared to work with great unanimity. 

At Vancouver, I was again kindly made welcome by Dr. M'Laughlin, 
Mr. Douglass, and the officers of the establishment. During my ab- 
sence, Mr. Peter Ogden, chief factor of the northern district, had arrived 
with his brigade. The fort had, in consequence, a very different ap- 
pearance from the one it bore when I left it. I was exceedingly amused 
with the voyageurs of the brigade, who were to be seen lounging about 
in groups, decked in gay feathers, ribands, &c., full of conceit, and 
with the flaunting air of those who consider themselves the beau-ideal 
of grace and beauty; full of frolic and fun, and seeming to have 
nothing to do but to attend to the decorations of their persons and seek 
for pleasure ; looking down with contempt upon those who are em- 
ployed about the fort, whose sombre cast of countenance and business 
employments form a strong contrast to these jovial fellows. 

Mr. Ogden has been thirty-two years in this country, and conse- 
quently possesses much information respecting it ; having travelled 
nearly all over it. He resides at Fort St. James, on Stuart's Lake, 
and has six posts under his care. 

The northern section of the country he represents as not susceptible 
of cultivation, on account of the proximity of the snowy mountains, 
which cause sudden changes, even in the heat of summer, that, would 
destroy the crops. 

His posts are amply supplied with salmon from the neighbouring 
waters, that empty themselves into the sounds on the coast. These 
fish are dried, and form the greatest part of the food of those employed 
by the Company during the whole year. Their small-stores of flour, 
&c., are all carried from Colville and Vancouver. Furs are very 
plenty in the northern region, and are purchased at low prices from 
the Indians : his return, this year, was valued at one hundred thousand 
dollars, and this, he informed me, was much less than the usual amount. 

On the other hand, the southern section of this country, I was here 
informed, was scarcely worth the expense of an outlay for a party of 

This southern country, as will be seen from what has been already 
stated, is very well adapted to the raising of cattle and sheep : of the 


former, many have been introduced by parties, which trap on their 
way thither and return with cattle. Although there were but a few 
head of them four or five years before, in 1841 there were upwards of 
ten thousand. The whole country is particularly adapted to grazing, 
which, together with the mildness of the climate, must cause this 
region to become, in a short time, one of the best-stocked countries in 
the world. 

The price of cattle may be quoted at ten dollars a head ; but those 
that are broken in for labour, or milch-cows, command a higher price ; 
and in some places in the Willamette Valley they have been sold for 
the enormous price of eighty dollars. Every endeavour is made to 
keep the price of cattle up, as labour is usually paid for in stock. 

The price of labour for a mechanic may be set down at from two 
dollars and a half, to three dollars a day; and there is much difficulty 
to procure them even at that rate. The wages for a common labourer 
is one dollar per day. The price of wheat is fixed at sixty-two and 
a half cents per bushel by the Company; for which any thing but 
spirits may be drawn from the stores, at fifty per cent, advance on the 
London cost. This is supposed, all things taken into consideration, to 
be equal to one dollar and twelve cents per bushel ; but it is difficult 
for the settlers so to understand it, and they are by no means satisfied 
with the rate. There is a description of currency here, called beaver 
money ; which seems to be among the whites what blankets are 
among the Indians. The value of the currency may be estimated 
from the fact, that a beaver-skin represents about two dollars through- 
out the territory. 

In speaking of the Willamette Valley, I have viewed its advantages 
for raising crops, pasturage of stock, and the facilities of settlers 
becoming rich. There is, however, one objection to its ever becoming 
a large settlement, in consequence of the interruption of the navigation 
of its rivers in the dry season ; which renders it difficult to get to a 
market, as well as to receive supplies. 

The salmon-fishery may be classed as one of the great sources of 
wealth, for it affords a large amount of food at a very low price, and 
of the very best quality : it does not extend above the falls. I found it 
impossible to obtain any data to found a calculation of the quantity 
taken, but it cannot be short of eight hundred barrels ; and this after 
the Indian manner of catching them, as before described. The finest 
of the salmon are those caught nearest the sea. 

The settlers and Indians told us that the salmon as they pass up the 
river become poorer, and when they reach the tributaries of the upper 
Columbia, they are exceedingly exhausted, and have their bodies and 
heads much disfigured and cut, and their tails and fins worn out bv 



contact with the rocks. Many of the salmon in consequence die : these 
the Indians are in the habit of drying for food, by hanging them on the 
limbs of trees. This is to preserve them from the wolves, and to be 
used in time of need, when they are devoured, though rotten and full 
of maggots. The fish of the upper waters are said to be hardly edible, 
and, compared with those caught at the mouth of the Columbia, are 
totally different in flavour. The latter are the richest and most delicious 
fish I ever recollect to have tasted : if any thing, they were too fat to 
eat, and one can perceive a difference even in those taken at the 
Willamette Falls, which, however, are the best kind for salting. There 
are four different kinds of salmon, which frequent this river in different 
months: the latest appears in October, and is the only kind that 
frequents the Cowlitz river. The finest sort is a dark silvery fish, of 
large size, three or four feet long, and weighing forty or fifty pounds. 

There is one point which seems to be still in doubt, namely, where 
the spawn of this fish is deposited. It is asserted, and generally 
believed, that none of the old fish ever return to the sea again. It has 
not been ascertained whether the young fry go to the ocean ; and, if 
they do so, whether as spawn or young fish. Some light will be thrown 
on this subject in the Ichthyological Report. 

Mr. Drayton, during the time he remained at the falls, procured a 
beautiful specimen of a small-sized sucker, which the Indians caught 
in their nets, and of which he made a drawing. The lamprey eels were 
also a source of curiosity : they seemed to increase in numbers, crawl- 
ing up by suction an inch at a time. At these eels the boy who 
accompanied Mr. Drayton took pleasure in throwing stones, which 
excited the wrath of the Indians, as they said they should catch no 
more fish if he continued his sport. They have many superstitions 
connected with the salmon, and numerous practices growing out of 
these are religiously observed : thus, if any one dies in their lodges 
during the fishing season, they stop fishing for several days ; if a horse 
crosses the ford, they are sure no more fish will be taken. 

During the fishing season there are about seventy Indians, of both 
sexes, who tarry at the falls, although the actual residents are not, 
according to Mr. Waller, beyond fifteen. They dwell in lodges, which 
resemble those described heretofore, and are built of planks split from 
the pine trees. These are set up on end, forming one apartment, of 
from thirty to forty feet long, by about twenty w r ide. The roof has 
invariably a double pitch, and is made of cedar bark : the doorway is 
small, and either round or rounded at the top. I have mentioned that 
the outside is well stocked with fleas: it need scarcely be said what the 
condition of the inside is. 

These Indians are to be seen lounging about or asleep in the day- 


time; but they generally pass their nights in gambling. Mr. Dray ton, 
while at the falls, obtained a knowledge of some of their games. The 
women usually play during the day at a game resembling dice. The 
implements are made of the incisor teeth of the beaver, and four of 
these are used, which are engraved 
on two sides with different figures, 
and the figures on two of the teeth 
are alike : these are taken in the 
hand and thrown on a mat, the INDIAN DICE. 

players sitting on it, opposite to 

one another. They are of the shape represented in the cut. If all the 
blank sides come up, it counts nothing ; if all the engraved or marked 
sides, it counts two ; if two blanks and two differently marked sides, it 
counts nothing; but if two with like marks, it counts one. The game 
is generally twenty, which are marked with pieces of stick ; the tens 
are noted with a smaller stick. This game is played for strings of 
dentalium, called by them " ahikia;" each string is about two feet long, 
and will pass for considerable value, as the shells are difficult to pro- 
cure: ten of them are said to be worth a beaver-skin. 

The men and boys play a game with small bows and arrows : a 
wheel, about a foot in diameter, is wound round with grass, and is 
rolled over smooth ground ; the players are divided into two parties : 
one rolls the wheel, while the other shoots the arrow at it. If he sticks 
his arrow into the wheel, he holds it on the ground edgewise towards 
the one who rolled it, who, if he shoots his arrow into it, wins his 
opponent's arrow ; and this goes on by turns. 

Another game is played by a party of men and boys, in the follow- 
/ng manner : two poles are taken, six or eight feet long, and wound 
round with grass ; these are set up about fifty feet apart. Each player 
has a spear, which he throws in his turn. Whichever side, after a 
number of throws, puts the greatest number of spears in their oppo- 
nent's pole, wins the game. The usual bet among the men is a cotton 

Mr. Drayton also paid a visit to the Indian village on the Klackamus 
river, which is about three miles from the falls, in company with Mr. 
Waller. The village is one and a half miles up the Klackamus, and 
its inhabitants number about forty-five individuals. Mr. Waller went 
there to preach, and about half the inhabitants of the village attended. 
The chief was the interpreter, and was thought to have done his office 
in rather a waggish sort of manner. Preaching to the natives through 
an interpreter is at all times difficult, and especially so when the 
speaker has to do it in the Indian jargon of the country. This village 


has been disputed ground between Mr. Waller and Mr. Bachelet, the 
former claiming it as coming within his district. Not long before OUT 
visit, Mr. Bachelet had planted a staff' and hoisted on it a flag bearing 
a cross. When this became known to Mr. Waller, he went to the 
place and pulled it down, and has driven Mr. Bachelet away. Such 
difficulties are very much to be deprecated, as they cannot but injure 
the general cause of Christianity in the eyes of the natives ; and it is 
to be wished that they could be settled among the different sects with- 
out giving them such publicity; for the natives seldom fail to take 
advantage of these circumstances, and to draw conclusions unfavour- 
able to both parties. 

The men of the Klackamus village are rather taller and better-look- 
ing than the Clatsop or Chinook Indians: they belong to the Callapuya 
tribe. The women and children are most of them crippled and diseased. 
They have been quite a large tribe in former times, as is proved by the 
crowded state of their burying-ground, which covers quite a large 
space, and has a multitude of bones scattered around. 

Their mode of burial is to dig a hole, in which the body is placed, 
with the clothes belonging to the individual: it is then covered up with 
earth, and a broad head-board is placed upright, of from two to six 
feet high, which is frequently painted or carved with grotesque figures : 
all the personal property of the deceased is placed upon this, consisting 
of wooden spoons, hats, tin kettles, beads, gun-barrels bent double, and 
tin pots. Although they are very superstitious about disturbing the 
articles belonging to the dead, yet all these have holes punched in 
them, to prevent their being of any use to others, or a temptation to 
their being taken off. It frequently happens that the head-boards will 
not hold all the articles, in which case sticks are used in addition. To 
rob their burying-grounds of bodies, is attended with much danger, as 
they would not hesitate to kill any one who was discovered in the act 
of carrying off a skull or bones. 

Of their medicine-men they have a great dread, and even of their 
bones after death. Thus, a medicine-man was buried near this 
burying-ground about a year before our visit to the country, whose 
body the wolves dug up : no one could be found to bury his bones 
again, and they were still to be seen bleaching on the surface of the 

It is no sinecure to be a medicine-man ; and if they inspire dread in 
others, they are made to feel it themselves, being frequently obliged to 
pay the forfeit of their own lives, if they are not successful in curing 
their patients. The chief of the Klackamus tribe told Mr. Prayton 
that some of his men had gone to kill a medicine-man, in consequence 


of the death of his wife. These men afterwards returned with a horse 
and some smaller presents from the medicine-man, which he had paid 
to save his life. 

This rule equally applies to the whites who prescribe for Indians, an 
instance of which occurred a short time before our arrival, when Mr. 
Black, a chief trader in one of the northern posts, was shot dead in his 
own room by an Indian to whose parent (a chief) he had been cha- 
ritable enough to give some medicine. The chief died soon after taking 
it, and Mr. Black paid the forfeit of his kindness with his life. The 
deed was done in a remarkably bold and daring manner. The Indian 
went to the fort and desired to see Mr. Black, saying he was sick and 
cold. He was allowed to enter, and Mr. Black had a fire made for 
him, without any suspicion of his intentions. On his turning his back, 
however, towards the Indian, he was instantly shot, and fell dead on 
his face, when the man made his escape from the fort before any 
suspicions were excited of his being the murderer. 

To Mr. Black the world is indebted for the greater part of the geo- 
graphical knowledge which has been published of the country west of 
the Rocky Mountains ; and he not only devoted much of his time to 
this subject, but also to the making of many collections in the other 
departments of natural history, as well as in geology and mineralogy. 
I remained at Vancouver till the morning of the 17th, and passed 
these few days with much pleasure in the company of the gentlemen 
of the fort, of whose attentions and great kindness I shall long enter- 
tain a grateful remembrance. 

Mr. Waldron now joined me from Astoria, without bringing any 
news of the Peacock or tender. I did not think it worth while to wait 
any longer their coming, when I had so much duty to perform else- 
where. After completing orders for Captain Hudson, I determined to 
return. Plumondon was sent to the Willamette Falls for Mr. Drayton, 
as I desired to have some consultation with him before my departure. 

The day before I left the fort, Mr. Ogden informed me that he had 
made arrangements to take me as far as the Cowlitz Farm in his boat, 
on my way to Nisqually, and desired that I would allow Mr. Drayton 
to accompany him up the river as far as Wallawalla. To both of 
these arrangements I readily assented. 

During my stay at Vancouver, I frequently saw Casenove, the chief 
of the Klackatack tribe. He lives in a lodge near the village of Van- 
couver, and has always been a warm friend of the whites. He was 
once lord of all this domain. His village was situated about six miles 
below Vancouver, on the north side of the river, and, within the last 
fifteen years, was quite populous : he then could muster four or five 
VOL. iv. 47 


hundred warriors ; but the ague and fever have, within a short space 
of time, swept off the whole tribe, and it is said that they all died 
within three weeks. He now stands alone, his land, tribe, and property 
all departed, and he left a dependant on the bounty of the Company. 
Casenove is about fifty years of age, and a noble and intelligent-looking 
Indian. At the fort he is always welcome, and is furnished with a 
plate at meal-times at the side-table. I could not but feel for the situa- 
tion of one who, in the short space of a few years, has lost not only 
his property and importance, but his whole tribe and kindred, as I saw 
him quietly enter the apartment, wrapped in his blanket, and take his 
seat at the lonely board. He scarce seemed to attract the notice of 
any one, but ate his meal in silence, and retired. He has always been 
a great friend to the whites, and during the time of his prosperity was 
ever ready to search out and bring to punishment all those who com- 
mitted depredations on strangers. 

Casenove's tribe is not the only one that has suffered in this way ; 
many others have been swept off entirely by this fatal disease, without 
leaving a single survivor to tell their melancholy tale. 

The cause of this great mortality among the Indians has been attri- 
buted to the manner in which the disease has been treated, or rather 
to their superstitious practices. Their medicine-men and women are 
no better than jugglers, and use no medicine except some deleterious 
roots ; while, from the character of these Indians, and their treatment 
of an unsuccessful practitioner, the whites decline administering any 
remedies, for fear of consequences like those to which I have alluded. 

On the morning of the 17th, Vancouver was awake at an early 
hour, and preparations were actively making; a voyageur occasion- 
ally was to be seen, decked out in all his finery, feathers, and flowing 
ribands, tying on his ornamented leggins, sashes, and the usual worked 
tobacco and fire pouch. The latter is of the shape of a lady's reticule, 
and generally made of red or blue cloth, prettily worked with beads. 
In working them the wives of the officers of the Company exercise 
great taste, and it is deemed fully as essential a part of dress in a 
voyageur' s wardrobe as in a lady's. The simple bag does not, how- 
ever, afford sufficient scope for ornament, and it has usually several 
long tails to it, which are worked with silk of gaudy colours. 

The ladies of the country are dressed after our own bygone fashions, 
with the exception of leggins, made of red and blue cloth, richly orna- 
mented. Their feet, which are small and pretty, are covered with 
worked moccasins. Many of them have a dignified look and carriage: 
their black eyes and hair, and brown ruddy complexion, combined with 
a pleasing expression, give them an air of independence ana usefulness 


that one little expects to see. As wives, they are spoken of as most 
devoted, and many of them have performed deeds in the hour of 
danger and difficulty, worthy of being recorded. They understand 
the characters of Indians well. 

About ten o'clock, we were all summoned to the great dining-hall 
by Dr. M'Laughlin, to take the parting cup customary in this country. 
When all were assembled, wine was poured out, and we drank to each 
other's welfare, prosperity, &c. This was truly a cup of good-fellow- 
ship and kind feeling. This hanging to old Scotch customs in the way 
it was done here is pleasant, and carries with it pleasing recollections, 
especially when there is that warmth of feeling with it, that there was 
on this occasion. After this was over, we formed quite a cavalcade 
to the river-side, which was now swollen to the top of its banks, and 
rushing by with irresistible force. 

On reaching the river, we found one of Mr. Ogden's boats manned 
by fourteen voyageurs, all gaily dressed in their ribands and plumes ; 
the former tied in large bunches of divers colours, with numerous 
ends floating in the breeze. The boat was somewhat of the model of 
our whale-boats, only much larger, and of the kind built expressly to 
accommodate the trade : they are provided yearly at Okonagan, and 
are constructed in a few days: they are clinker-built, and all the tim- 
bers are flat. These boats are so light that they are easily carried 
across the portages. They use the gum of the pine to cover them 
instead of pitch. 

After having a hearty shake of the hand, Captain Varney, Mr. 
Ogden, and myself, embarked. The signal being given, we shoved 
off, and the voyageurs at once struck up one of their boat-songs. 
After paddling up the stream for some distance, we made a graceful 
sweep to reach the centre, and passed by the spectators with great 
animation. The boat and voyageurs seemed a fit object to grace the 
wide-flowing river. On we merrily went, while each voyageur in 
succession took up the song, and all joined in the chorus. In two 
hours and a half we reached the mouth of the Cowlitz, a distance of 
thirty-five miles. 

In the Cowlitz we found a strong current to contend against, and 
by nightfall had only proceeded twelve miles further. As we en- 
camped, the weather changed, and rain began to fall, which lasted till 
next morning. 

I had much amusement in watching the voyageurs, who are as 
peculiar in their way as sailors. I was struck with their studious 
politeness and attention to each other, and their constant cheerfulness. 

On the second day, our voyageurs had doffed their finery, and their 


hats were carefully covered with oiled skins. They thus appeared 
more prepared for hard work. The current became every mile more 
rapid, and the difficulty of surmounting it greater. The management 
of the boats in the rapids is dexterous and full of excitement, as well 
to the passengers as to the voyageurs themselves. The bowman is 
the most important man, giving all the directions, and is held respon- 
sible for the safety of the boat ; and his keen eye and quick hand in 
the use of his paddle, delights and inspires a confidence in him in 
moments of danger that is given without stint. We did not make 
more than ten miles during the day, and were forced to encamp three 
miles below the farm. 

On the 19th we reached our destination. On our approach, although 
there were no spectators, except a few Indians, to be expected, the 
voyageurs again mounted their finery, and gaily chaunted their boat- 

Mr. Ogden had been one of the first who travelled over this part 
of country, and he informed me that he has seen the whole country 
inundated by the rise of the river. This, however, can but rarely 
occur, and could only be the result of a sudden melting of the snows 
when accompanied with violent rain-storms. 

Plumondon had gone before, to request Mr. Forrest to send the 
wagon for our baggage ; and we found it duly waiting at the landing. 

In the afternoon, I made a visit, with Mr. Ogden, to the Catholic 
Mission, and several of the settlers' houses. That of Plumondon we 
found quite comfortable. The neighbourhood, though consisting of 
few families, appears very happy and united. They prefer the 
Cowlitz to the Willamette, although the land here is not so good as in 
the valley of the latter ; but they say that many vegetables succeed 
here, that will not grow on the Willamette. 

It was with much regret that J parted from Mr. Ogden and Captain 
Varney. We had enjoyed ourselves much, and I shall long remember 
their kindness and jovial company. The day they left us proved very 
rainy; it was impossible for any one to stir out, and the mud was 
ankle-deep. I felt disappointed at this, as I wished to make some 
observations, to test those I had already taken in passing before. Mr. 
Forrest was very attentive, and did all in his power to amuse me ; but 
feeling disposed to sleep, I lay down, and after a short time awoke, 
with the feeling of having overslept myself. I jumped up to look at 
my pocket-chronometer, which, to be careful of, I had placed on t 1 c 
table. Lying near by it was a small silver watch, which I had not 
before observed, and my surprise was great to find that they both 
showed the same hour. I uttered my surprise aloud just as Mr 


Forrest entered the room, and told me that he had found my watch 
altogether wrong, (it showed Greenwich time,) and he had set it for 
me. I could riot help making an exclamation of astonishment. We 
stood looking at each other, and he appeared fully as surprised as I 
was, when I told him that he had changed my Greenwich time for 
that of Cowlitz, and had interrupted my series of observations. He 
thought it passing strange that I should prefer Greenwich time to that 
of Cowlitz, and told me that he was sure his watch was right, for it 
kept time with the sun exactly ! This incident, though sufficiently 
provoking at the time, afforded me much amusement after it was over, 
and was a lesson to me never to trust a chronometer to such an acci- 
dent again. 

It having partially cleared up the next morning, I set off, accom- 
panied by Plumondon, his wife and child, and another settler as my 
guide. We departed at eight o'clock, and being provided with good 
horses, made rapid progress. By the advice of Mr. Forrest, I endea- 
voured to take a canoe on the Chickeeles, sending the horses to meet 
us, without loads, over the mountain. 

We rode up to the Indian lodges, near the Chickeeles river, in order 
to engage some of them to accompany us. I have before spoken of 
making a bargain with them, and of the time and patience necessary 
before any thing can be accomplished. I now saw that it was a hope- 
less task to attempt to overcome their perfect nonchalance. Time, 
haste, clothes, presents, are nothing to them; rum is the only thing 
that will move them at all times, and of this I had none, nor should I 
have made use of it if I had. When Plumondon had exhausted his 
words on them without effect, we rode off, succeeded in passing the 
mountain road quickly, and were well satisfied that we had thus shown 
our independence. 

I have noticed the excessive love that the whole Indian population 
seern to have for rum : many of these poor creatures would labour for 
days, and submit to all sorts of fatigue, for the sake of a small quan- 
tity. No other inducement will move them in the salmon and cam- 
mass seasons, for then they have nothing more to desire. 

Towards night we encamped on a small prairie, where the grasses, 
flowers, and trees, were in every variety of bloom. 

The Indians on the Chickeeles river were engaged in the salmon- 
fishery. This is effected by staking the river across with poles, and 
constructing fikes or fish-holes, through which the fish are obliged to 
pass. Over these are erected triangles to support a staging, on which 
the Indians stand, with nets and spears, and take the fish as they 
attempt to pass through : the fish are then dried by smoking, and pre- 




pared for future use. The smoked fish are packed in baskets ; but the 
supply is far short of their wants. 

The next morning we set out early, and reached the opposite bank 
of Shute's river. On the following day before noon, I returned to 
Nisqually, fully as much enchanted with the beautiful park scenery as 
when I passed it before. To it was now added occasional peeps of 
Mount Rainier's high and snowy peak. 












ON my return to Nisqually, I found that news had been received 
from the various surveying and exploring parties, all of which it was 
reported were advancing rapidly in the execution of their duties. 
The preparations for the scientific operations, which had been left to 
the charge of Lieutenant Carr, were all completed, and the two log 
houses had been built, in which we now began to perform the pendu- 
lum experiments, and make astronomic observations. In these we 
were engaged until the 4th of July. As the details of them will be 
given in another place, I shall only advert here to the operations which 
I had entrusted to Mr. Drayton, and which will form the subject of the 
present chapter. 

It was stated in the preceding chapter, that through Mr. Ogden's 
kindness, a passage was offered up the Columbia river as far as 
Wallawalla. It had been my original intention to despatch a party 
from the Peacock in this direction, to cross the Rocky Mountains 
to the head waters of Yellowstone river; and I had engaged a Mr. 
Rogers to accompany it. Orders for the purpose had been pre- 
pared, and left to be delivered to Captain Hudson when he should 

I now, however, began to apprehend that some serious accident 
had happened to that vessel, and I deemed it important to secure at 
all events, the examination of so interesting a part of this country, 
particularly when it could be performed under such favourable cir- 
cumstances as those offered by Mr. Ogden. Mr. Drayton was there- 
fore detached to make this jaunt, and to his industry and observation 
I am indebted for many of the facts about to be detailed. For others 

VOL. iv. * Ga 48 (377) 


of them I have to acknowledge my obligation to the missionaries, and 
the officers of the Hudson Bay Company. 

Previous to the departure of the brigade, Mr. Drayton had made 
many collections in natural history. After I left him, the weather con- 
tinued very rainy for several days, and the Columbia in consequence 
began to rise again rapidly : the low prairies were overflowed, and the 
wheat in many places was injured. To show the porous nature of 
the soil, I will mention that the well at Vancouver rises and falls with 
the river, although it is a quarter of a mile from the bank. This is 
not the case in any other place in the territory where wells are sunk ; 
but I have little doubt the same thing would occur on any of the low 
prairies of the Columbia, for the soil of all of them seems very similar. 
At Vancouver they use the river in preference to the well-water, 
though they do not consider the latter as unwholesome. 

Mr. Drayton obtained in the mill-pond, specimens of a beautiful 
spotted trout, which is abundant there. They lake the bait readily, 
and were caught with pieces of dried salmon : they feed upon insects, 
and small white moths are their favourite bait, at which they are seen 
to spring most greedily. 

Until the 26th, repairs were making to the boats, and preparations 
were going on for embarking the goods. The shape of these boats has 
been before described : they have great strength and buoyancy, carry 
three tons weight, and have a crew of eight men, besides a padroon : 
they are thirty feet long and five and a half feet beam, sharp at both 
ends, clinker-built, and have no knees. In building them, flat timbers 
of oak are bent to the requisite shape by steaming ; they are bolted to 
a flat keel, at distances of a foot from each other : the planks are of 
cedar, and generally extend the whole length of the boat. The gun- 
wale is of the same kind of wood, but the rowlocks are of birch. The 
peculiarity in the construction of these boats is, that they are only 
riveted at each end with a strong rivet, and being well gummed, they 
have no occasion for nailing. They answer, and indeed are admirably 
adapted to, all the purposes for which they are intended ; are so light 
as to be easily transported over the portages by their crews, and in 
case of accident are easily repaired. 

The goods embarked for the supply of the northern posts are all 
done up carefully in bales of ninety pounds each, and consist of gro- 
ceries, clothing, flour, powder, bullets, &c. It may readily be ima- 
gined that the different packages vary very materially in size, from a 
few inches square to two feet. This equal division of the weight is 
necessary, in consequence of the numerous portages they have to make, 
as well as convenient in forming packs for horses, which they take at 


Okonagan for a journey to Thompson river, which takes twenty days 
to accomplish. 

Mr. Ogden is generally six months of every year travelling to and 
from his post on the south end of Stuart's Lake, called Fort St. James, 
in latitude 54 N. He leaves it early in the spring, and returns in the 
fall of each year. Before he departs, he fits out his summer trappers, 
and on his return those for the winter's campaign. He brings down 
with him the produce of a year's hunting. This post is the most pro- 
fitable of all the sections west of the mountains. The average cost 
of a beaver-skin is about twenty-five cents, and when it reaches Van- 
couver it has enhanced in price to two dollars and fifty cents. The 
amount of furs brought down by Mr. Ogden yearly will net in London 
50,000, a fact which will give some idea of the value of this trade. 

In setting out on his journey, Mr. Ogden's practice, as well as that 
of all the Company's parties, is to go only a few miles the first day, in 
order that they may discoyer if any thing has been neglected, and be 
able to return for it. For this reason their first encampment was at 
the saw-mill. Their brigade consisted of nine boats, rowed by sixty 
voyageurs, eight of whom had their Indian wives with them. Besides 
these were Mr. and Mrs. M'Kinley, (Mr. Ogden's son-in-law,) who 
was to take charge of the Wallawalla Fort, and a Mr. Cameron, also 
of the Company, who was on his way to Mr. Black's station. The 
boats take each sixty packages, excepting the trader, which is Mr. 
Ogden's own boat, and carries only forty. The boatmen are Cana- 
dians, excepting about one-fourth, who are Iroquois Indians, all strong, 
active, and hardy men. They are provided only with a square sail, 
as the wind blows generally either directly up or down the river. 

On the 27th June, they were off at early dawn, took their breakfast 
at Prairie du The, and reached the Company's fishery, at the Cascades, 
at 6 p. M., where they encamped. This is the head of ship navigation, 
where the river takes a turn northward, and for upwards of two miles 
is comparatively narrow four hundred and fifty yards wide. It falls 
in this distance about forty feet, and the whole body of water drives 
through this narrow channel with great impetuosity, forming high 
waves and fearful whirlpools, too dangerous to be encountered by any 
boat. When the river is low, these rapids are sometimes passed by 
skilful boatmen, but there have been many lives lost in the attempt. 

The country bordering on the river is low until the Cascades are 
approached, with the exception of several high basaltic bluffs. Some 
of them are two hundred feet high, pointed like turreted castles. 

An old Indian, called Slyboots, made his call upon Mr. Ogden for 
his annual present, consisting of some tobacco and a shirt. This 


present is made in consequence of his once having preserved Mr. 
Ogden's party from an attack, by giving information that it was to 
take place. By this timely notice Mr. Ogden was enabled to guard 
himself and party, by taking refuge upon a small island just above the 

The Columbia, at this part, passes through the Cascade range of 
mountains, between high and rocky banks. The geological character 
of this range is basaltic lava, basaltic conglomerate, and sandstone. 
Large quantities of petrified wood are to be found in the neighbour- 
hood. Mr. Drayton obtained specimens of all of these. 

The river, thus far, is navigated by seeking out the eddies. The 
great difficulty is found in doubling the points, which are at times 
impassable, except by tracking and poling. The oars are used after 
the French or Spanish fashion, adding the whole weight of the body 
to the strength of arm. 

At the Cascades, during the fishing season, there are about three 
hundred Indians, only about one-tenth of whom are residents: they 
occupy three lodges ; but there was formerly a large town here. 
Great quantities of fish are taken by them ; and the manner of doing 
this resembles that at the Willamette Falls. They also construct 
canals, on a line parallel with the shore, with rocks and stones, for 
about fifty feet in length, through which the fish pass in order to avoid 
the strong current, and are here taken in great numbers. 

There are two portages here, under the names of the new and the 
old. At the first, only half of the load is landed, and the boats are 
tracked up for half a mile further, when the load is again shipped. 
The boats are then tracked to the old portage. A strong eddy occurs 
at this place, which runs in an opposite direction ; and here it is 
necessary to land the whole of the cargo ; after which, the empty 
boats are again tracked three quarters of a mile beyond. 

To a stranger, unacquainted with the navigation of this river, the 
management of these boatmen becomes a source of wonder; for it is 
surprising how they can succeed in surmounting such rapids at all as 
the Cascades. Their mode of transporting the goods, and the facilities 
with which they do it, are equally novel. The load is secured on the 
back of a voyageur by a band which passes round the forehead and 
under and over the bale; he squats down, adjusts his load, and rises 
with ninety pounds on his back ; another places ninety pounds more 
on the top. and off he trots, half bent, to the end of the portage. One 
of the gentlemen of the Company informed me, that he had seen a 
voyageur carry six packages of ninety pounds each on his back (five 
hundred and forty pounds) ; but it was for a wager, arid the distance 


was not more than one hundred yards. The voyageurs in general 
have not the appearance of being very strong men. At these portages, 
the Indians assist for a small present of tobacco. The boats seldom 
escape injury in passing; and in consequence of that which they 
received on this occasion, the party was detained the rest of the day 
repairing damages. 

On their starting next morning, they found that the boats leaked ; 
and put on shore again to gum them. This operation, Mr. Drayton 
describes thus. On landing the goods, the boats are tracked up and 
turned bottom up, when they are suffered to dry ; two flat-sided pieces 
of fire-wood, about two feet long, are then laid together, and put into 
the fire, until both are well lighted, and the wood burns readily at one 
end and in the space between ; they then draw the lighted end slowly 
along the gummed seam, blowing at the same time between the sticks: 
this melts the gum, and a small spatula is used to smooth it off and 
render the seam quite tight. The common gum of the pine or hemlock 
is that used ; and a supply is always carried with them. 

A short distance above the Cascades, they passed the locality of the 
sunken forest, which was at the time entirely submerged. Mr. Drayton, 
on his return, visited the place, and the water had fallen so much as 
to expose the stumps to view : they were of pine, and quite rotten, so 
much so that they broke when they were taken hold of. He is of 
opinion that the point on which the pine forest stands, has been under- 
mined by the great currents during the freshets; and that it has sunk 
bodily down until the trees were entirely submerged. The whole mass 
appears to be so matted together by the roots as to prevent their sepa- 
ration. Changes, by the same undermining process, were observed to 
be going on continually in other parts of the river. 

On the 30th of June, they had a favourable wind, but it blew so hard 
that they were obliged to reef their sail, and afterwards found the 
waves and wind too heavy for them to run without great danger; they 
in consequence put on shore to wait until it abated. In these forty 
miles of the river, it usually blows a gale from the westward in the 
summer season, almost daily. 

In the evening, they reached within seven miles of the Dalles, and 
four below the mission. Here the roar of the water at the Dalles was 
heard distinctly. 

The country had now assumed a different aspect ; the trees began to 
decrease in number, and the land to look dry and burnt up. Before 
pitching their tents, the men were beating about the bushes to drive 
away the rattlesnakes, a number of which were killed, and preserved 
as specimens. 


In the morning they were again on their route, and reached Little 
river, from which the station of the Methodist Mission is three-fourths 
of a mile distant. Here they were met by Mr. Perkins, who was 
waiting for his letters and some packages of goods the brigade had 
brought. Mr. Drayton accompanied Mr. Perkins to the mission, while 
the brigade moved on towards the Dalles. Mr. Daniel Lee, the prin- 
cipal of the mission, was found near the house, reaping his wheat. 

At this station there are three families, those of the Rev. Mr. Lee, 
Mr. Perkins, and a lay member, who is a farmer. Their reception of 
Mr. Drayton was exceedingly kind. 

The mission consists of two log and board houses, hewn, sawed, and 
built by themselves, with a small barn, and several out-houses. The 
buildings are situated on high ground, among scattered oaks, and 
immediately in the rear is an extensive wood of oaks and pines, with 
numerous sharp and jagged knolls and obelisk-looking pillars of con- 
glomerate, interspersed among basaltic rocks : in front is an alluvial 
plain, having a gradual descent towards the river, and extending to the 
right and left. This contains about two thousand acres of good land, 
well supplied with springs, with Little river, and other smaller streams 
passing through it. The soil is made up of decomposed conglomerate, 
and in places shows a deep black loam. Around this tract the land is 
high, devoid of moisture, and covered with basaltic rocks or sand. 

They here raise wheat and potatoes by irrigation : the latter grow in 
great perfection, and wheat yields twenty to thirty bushels to the acre. 
They had just gathered a crop of two hundred bushels from land which 
they irrigate by means of several fine streams near their houses. They 
might raise much more, if they were disposed. The summers here are 
much hotter than at Vancouver, and consequently drier ; the spring 
rains cease here earlier, and the people harvest in June. 

There are only a few Indians residing near the mission during the 
winter, and these are a very miserable set, who live in holes in the 
ground, not unlike a clay oven, in order to keep warm. They are too 
lazy to cut wood for their fires. The number that visit the Dalles 
during the fishing season, is about fifteen hundred : these are from all 
the country round, and are generally the outlawed of the different 
villages. The missionaries complain much of the insolent behaviour 
and of the thieving habits, both of the visitors, and those who reside 
permanently at the falls. They are, therefore, very desirous of having 
a few settlers near, that they may have some protection from this 
annoyance, as they are frequently under apprehension that their lives 
will be taken. 

It is not to be expected that the missionaries could be able to make 



much progress with such a set, and they of course feel somewhat dis- 
couraged, though they have succeeded in obtaining a moral influence 
over a few. 

The river, between the Cascades and the Dalles, a distance of forty 
miles, has no rapids, and is navigable for vessels drawing twelve feet 
of water. It passes through high rocky banks of basalt 

The missionaries informed Mr. Drayton, that the salmon-fishery at 
the Dalles lasts six months, and that sturgeon are taken during the 
greater part of the year. 

The mission is three miles from the Dalles. On Mr. Drayton 
reaching the lower point of the portage, he found Mr. Ogden en- 
camped^ and a boat-load of packages spread out to dry. It appeared 
that one of the boats had bilged in passing up, and required repairs. 
The place was luckily fitted for these operations, as it had but one 
entrance to protect against about a thousand Indians, on the look-out 
for whatever they could pick up, and who required the whole force of 
the brigade to keep them in check. 

The Dalles is appropriately called the Billingsgate of Oregon. The 
diversity of dress among the men was greater even than in the crowds 
of natives I have described as seen in the Polynesian islands ; but they 
lack the decency and care of their persons which the islanders exhibit. 
The women also go nearly naked, for they wear little else than what 
may be termed a breech-cloth, of buckskin, which is black and filthy 
with dirt ; and some have a part of a blanket. The children go 
entirely naked, the boys wearing nothing but a small string round the 
body. It is only necessary to say that some forty or fifty live in a 
temporary hut, twenty feet by twelve, constructed of poles, mats, and 
cedar bark, to give an idea of the degree of their civilization. 

.____ _^ 

ir-tir!*' , ' ji. 

( - !?3=Sx. { : . -/j 

,#***!**.->..__ -HX - *\^-~-^ -? .'''-< j.i /yt-' 


The men are engaged in fishing, and do nothing else. On the 
women falls all the work of skinning, cleaning, and drying the fish 
for their winter stores. As soon as the fish are caught, they are laid 


for a few hours on the rocks, in the hot sun, which permits the skins 
to be taken off with greater ease; the flesh is then stripped off the 
bones, mashed and pounded as fine as possible ; it is then spread out 
on mats, and placed upon frames to dry in the sun and wind, which 
effectually cures it ; indeed, it is said that meat of any kind dried in 
this climate never becomes putrid. Three or four days are sufficient 
to dry a large matfull, four inches deep. The cured fish is then 
pounded into a long basket, which will contain about eighty pounds ; 
put up in this way, if kept dry, it will keep for three years. 

During the fishing season, the Indians live entirely on the heads, 
hearts, and offal of the salmon, which they string on sticks, and roast 
over a small fire. 

The fishing here is very much after the manner of that at Willa- 
mette Falls, except that there is no necessity for planks to stand on, as 
there are great conveniences at the Dalles for pursuing this fishery. 
They use the hooks and spears, attached to long poles : both the hook 
and the spear are made to unship readily, and are attached to the pole 
by a line four feet below its upper end. If the hook were made per- 
manently fast to the end of the pole, it would be liable to break, and 
the large fish would be much more difficult to take. The Indians are 
seen standing along the walls of the canals in great numbers, fishing, 
and it is not uncommon for them to take twenty to twenty-five salmon 
in an hour. When the river is at its greatest height, the water in the 
canals is about three feet below the top of the bank. 

The Dalles is one of the most remarkable places upon the Columbia. 
The river is here compressed into a narrow' channel, three hundred feet 
wide, and half a mile long; the walls are perpendicular, flat on the 
top, and composed of basalt ; the river forms an elbow, being situated 
in an amphitheatre, extending several miles to the northwest, and closed 
in by a high basaltic wall. From appearances, one is led to conclude 
that in former times the river made a straight course over the whole; 
but, having the channel deeper, is now confined within the present 
limits. Mr. Drayton, on inquiry of an old Indian, through Mr. 
Ogden, learned that he believed that in the time of his forefathers they 
went up straight in their canoes. In order to illustrate this pass, 
Mr. Drayton made a careful diagram of it, which is represented in 
the wood-cut on the following page. 

Besides the main channel, A, there are four or five other small 
canals, through which the water passes when the river is high : these 
are but a few feet across. The river falls about fifty feet in the dis- 
tance of two miles, and the greatest rise between high and low water 
mark, is sixty-two feet. This great rise is caused by the accumulation 



of water in the river above, which is dammed by this narrow pass, 
and is constantly increasing, until it backs the waters, and overflows 
many low grounds and islands above. The tremendous roar arising 
from the rushing of the river through this outlet, with the many 
whirlpools and eddies which it causes, may be more readily imagined 
than described. 

The boat was repaired by the afternoon, and an express was 
despatched up the river to Walla walla, in order to prepare the post 
for the reception of the brigade, and inform the gentleman who had 
charge of it that he would be required to move to the north with the 
brigade. The officers of the Company have but little time allowed 
them to attend to their comforts : so completely are they under the 
control of accident, that they are liable to be called upon at any 
moment. Their rights, however, are looked to as much as possible, 
and the great principle adopted as the incentive to action, is the 
advancement they may obtain by their own merit, through which 
alone they can get forward. In consequence of adhering to this prin- 
ciple, the Hudson Bay Company are always well served. The disci- 
pline that is preserved is the very best, and sits lightly upon all. 
Those who do not meet with advancement have some great fault in a 
trader's eyes. The enterprise and energy required to serve this Com- 
pany well is of no ordinary kind, and few men exhibit more of both 
these qualities than those I met with in its employ. 

On the morning of the 4th July, they began to pass the portage, 
which is a mile in length. It is very rugged, and the weather being 
exceedingly warm, many of the Indians were employed to transport 
articles on their horses, of which they have a large number. It 
required seventy men to transport the boats, which were carried over 
bottom upwards, the gunwale resting on the men's shoulders. By night 
all was safely transported, the boats newly gummed, and the encamp- 
ment formed on a sandy beach. The sand, in consequence of the high 
wind, was blown about in great quantities, and every body and thing 
was literally covered with it. 

2H 49 



From the nigh hills on the southern bank of the river, there is an 
extensive view of the country to the south. The distant part of this 
prospect was made up of rolling, barren, and arid hills. These hills, 
as well as the country nearer at hand, were covered with a natural hay 
or bunch-grass, which affords very nutritious food for cattle. 

The missionaries have been stationed at the Dalles since 1838. 
The primary object of this mission is, in the first place, to give the 
Gospel to the Indians, and next to teach them such arts of civilization 
as shall enable them to improve their condition, and by degrees to 
become an enlightened community. There are many difficulties that 
the missionary has to contend with, in first coming among these people, 
none of which are greater than the want of knowledge of their true 
character. The missionaries, after a full opportunity of knowing these 
Indians, consider covetousness as their prevailing sin, which is exhibited 
in lying, dishonest traffic, gambling, and horse-racing. Of the latter 
they are extremely fond, and are continually desirous of engaging in it. 
This sport frequently produces contentions, which often end in blood- 
shed. Stealing prevails to an alarming extent: scarcely any thing that 
can be removed is safe. The missionaries have several times had their 
houses broken open, and their property more or less damaged. The 
stealing of horses in particular is very common, but after being broken 
down they are sometimes returned. There are but few chiefs to whom 
the appeal for redress can be made, and they can exercise but little 
control over such a lawless crew. Those who gather here are gene- 
rally the very worst of the tribes around. 

The number of Indians within the Dalles mission is reckoned at 
about two thousand; in but few of these, however, has any symptom 
of reform shown itself. They frequent the three great salmon-fishe- 
ries of the Columbia, the Dalles, Cascades, and Chutes, and a few 
were found at a salmon-fishery about twenty-five miles up the Chutes 

The season for fishing salmon, which is the chief article of food in 
this country, lasts during five months, from May to September. The 
country also furnishes quantities of berries, nuts, roots, and game, con- 
sisting of bears, elk, and deer; but, owing to the improvidence of the 
native inhabitants, they are, notwithstanding this ample supply of 
articles of food, oftentimes on the verge of starvation. 

After the fishing and trading season is over, they retire to their 
villages, and pass the rest of the year in inactivity, consuming the 
food supplied by the labours of the preceding summer; and as the 
season ibr fishing comes round, they again resort to the fisheries. 
This is the ordinary course of life among these Indians, whose dissi- 


pation has been already spoken of, and will claim more attention 

Here again some others demanded their annual token from the 
brigade for past services. 

The country about the Dalles is broken, and the missionaries report 
that this is the case for some miles around. There are, however, also 
some plains and table-lands, which are considered as very valuable, 
being well watered with springs and small streams; excellent for 
grazing, and well supplied with timber oak and pine. The soil 
varies in quality, and portions of it are very rich. Garden vegeta- 
bles succeed, but require irrigation. Potatoes also must be watered, 
by which mode of culture they succeed well. Corn and peas can be 
raised in sufficient quantities. Wheat produces about twenty-five 
bushels to the acre: this is not, however, on the best land. They 
sow in October and March, and harvest begins towards the end of 

The climate is considered healthy; the atmosphere is dry, and there 
are no dews. From May till November but little rain falls, but in 
winter they have much rain and snow. The cold is seldom great, 
although during the winter preceding our arrival the thermometer fell 
to 18 Fahrenheit. The greatest heat experienced in summer was 
100 in the shade; but, even after the hottest days, the nights are cool 
and pleasant. 

At daylight, on the 3d July, the goods were all embarked. When 
they reached the Chutes, they again made a portage of their goods 
for a quarter of a mile, and in an hour and a half they were again on 
their way. During very high water, the fall, whence the place takes 
its name, is not visible, but when it is low, there is a fall of ten feet 
perpendicular, that occupies nearly the whole breadth of the river. 
It is impossible to pass this fall at low water ; but when the river is 
swollen, boats shoot it with ease and safety. The Columbia, from the 
Chutes as far as John Day's river, is filled with rocks, which occasion 
dangerous rapids. The boats were, in consequence, tracked for the 
whole distance. 

After passing the Dalles, an entirely new description of country is 
entered, for the line of woods extends no farther. The last tree stands 
on the south side of the river, and is named Ogden's Tree on our map: 
it is about six miles above the Dalles. The woods terminate at about 
the same distance from the coast in all parts of this region south of the 
parallel of 48 N. 

The country between these places is decidedly volcanic, and the 
banks on either side of the river are rocky and high. In this part of 



the country, it is very hot when there is no wind. Mr. Dray ton had 
no thermometer, and therefore was unable to ascertain the exact degree 
of heat, but any metallic substance exposed to the sun for a short time 
could not be grasped in the hand without pain, and the men were 
almost exhausted with the heat. 

There are a number of villages in this neighbourhood, and among 
them Wisham, mentioned in Irving's Astoria. This is situated on 
the left bank of the river, and-its proper name is Niculuita ; Wisham 
being the name of the old chief, long since dead. There are now in 
this village about forty good lodges, built of split boards, with a roof 
of cedar bark, as before described. The Indians that live here seem 
much superior to those of the other villages; they number four 
hundred regular inhabitants, who live, like the rest, upon salmon; 
but they appeared to have more comforts about them than any we 
had yet seen. 

At Niculuita Mr. Drayton obtained a drawing of a child's head that 
had just been released from its bandages, in order to secure its flattened 
head. Both the parents showed great delight at the success they had 
met with in effecting this distortion. The wood-cuts give a correct 
idea of the child's appearance. 



There were from fifty to one hundred Indians constantly follow- 
ing the brigade, and aiding the men. The price for half an hour's 
service was generally two leaves of tobacco, which was sought after 
with great eagerness. These Indians paint their faces with red and 
yellow clay. Their women seemed to be of more consequence than 
is usual among savages, and some of thorn even took command over 
the men. 

At John Day's river '_ r reat quantities of salmon are taken, and there 
are, in consequence, many temporary lodges here. Notwithstanding 


this is a rocky region, there are vast quantities of fine sand deposited 
every where, which is brought down the river. On this the encamp- 
ments are necessarily made ; and the sand is exceedingly dry and hot, 
which renders the camping disagreeable. There are few places more 
uncomfortable ; for a basaltic wall rises nine hundred or a thousand 
feet within two hundred yards of the camp,, which reflects the sun's 
rays down upon the beach of white sand, rendering the atmosphere 
almost insupportable. To give some idea of the heat, Mr. Drayton 
found it uncomfortably hot to sit down upon the rocks an hour after 
the sun had set. 

One of their amusements at the time of encamping was a rattle- 
snake hunt, in which several large ones were killed. 

The brigade, as usual, set out early, and with the sun there arose 
a fine breeze, which carried them briskly onwards. About eight miles 
above their encampment they came to the Hieroglyphic Rocks. These 
are about twenty feet high, and on them are supposed to be recorded 
the deeds of some former tribe. They passed so quickly that Mr. 
Drayton could make only two hasty sketches of them ; and it is to be 
regretted that they were not sufficiently perfect to allow of their being 
given in this place. 

After passing John Day's river, the country becomes much lower 
and more arid, and the current comparatively less. The weather was 
exceedingly hot, and the drifting sands were in greater quantities than 
before, so much so that whole islands were passed entirely composed 
of the sand. They now arrived at the long reach, just below Grand 
Island ; the country becoming sandy and so flat as to give a view of 
the Grand Rapid Hills. It has the appearance of having been, at no 
very remote period, the bed of an extensive lake. Here the voyageurs 
began to be relieved from their toil at the pole, which they exchanged 
for the tow-line and oar, and the Indians departed the moment their 
services were no longer wanted. The distance made this day was 
fifty-seven miles, for which they were indebted to the breeze. The 
day before, they made only sixteen miles. 

While passing close along the banks, they met with numerous pin- 
tailed grouse, so tame as to allow the boats to approach within a few 
feet of them before they would fly. 

At their encampment, Mr. Drayton found a large burying-place, 
from which he was desirous of getting a skull ; but, to the surprise of 
the party, several Indians made their appearance and prevented it. 
The corpses were placed above ground, in their clothing, and then 
sewed up in a skin or blanket; and the personal property of each 
deceased individual was placed near the body: over all were laid a 



few boards, of native construction, placed as a kind of shed to protect 
them from the weather. 

All along this river, from the Dalles up, there is not a piece of wood 
growing, and except occasionally a drift log, there is nothing larger 
than a splinter to be found. All the wood used for cooking is bought 
from the Indians, who will follow the brigade for many miles with a 
long pole or piece of a log, which they sell for a small piece of 
tobacco. The Indians also brought for sale several hares, which were 
large and of extremely fine flavour. 

The country continues to be, as far as can be seen on every side, 
a barren and sterile waste, covered with a white sand mixed with 
rounded and washed pebbles. All that it produces is a little grass, 
some wood, and a species of small Cactus, filled with long white 
spines, so hard and sharp that if trodden upon they will penetrate the 
leather of a boot. 

On the 6th of July the brigade reached the foot of the Grand Rapids, 
up which the boats were tracked. They afterwards passed along the 
foot of Grand Rapid Hills, which are composed of basalt, old lava, and 
scoriae. These hills are steep on the river side, and are fast crum- 
bling away and falling into the stream. 

Eighteen miles below Wallawalla they passed the Windmill Rock, 
about which are a number of curious basaltic peaks. On approaching 
Wallawalla the scenery becomes grand : the country is broken into 
volcanic peaks, forming many fantastic shapes, resembling figures and 
colossal heads : many of them are seen either insulated or in groups ; 
some of them are known under the name of the Nine-pins. Through this 
pass of volcanic rocks the wind rushes with great violence in summer, 
to supply the rarefied portion above. The current had increased very 
considerably : it often became necessary for the voyageurs to take a 
pipe, or in other words, a rest. When the brigade was in sight from 
the fort, the Company's flag was hoisted. Before arriving there, and 
within a mile and a half of it, the country becomes again Hat, and 
rises very little above the river, when the water is high. The ground 
is composed of pebbles and drifting sand for several miles to the east 
and to the north, with little or no soil, and nothing grows on it but a 
few spears of bunch-grass, and wormwood. 

The brigade reached the fort at sunset, when they were received by 
Mr. M'Lean, who was in temporary charge of the post: and who 
reported himself ready to proceed with his Indian wife and children 
with Mr. Ogden : and Mr. M'Kinley took charge of Fort Wallawalla. 

Fort Wallawalla is about two hundred feet square, and is built of 
pickets, with a gallery or staging on the inside, whence the pickets 



may be looked over. It has two bastions, one on the southwest and 
the other on the northeast. On the inside are several buildings, con- 
structed of logs and mud ; one of these is the Indian store : the whole 


is covered with sand and dust, which is blown about in vast quantities. 
The climate is hot ; and every thing about the fort seemed so dry, that 
it appeared as if a single spark would ignite the whole and reduce it 
to ashes. 

The party under Lieutenant Johnson had passed by about a week 
previously, on their return to Nisqually. 

At all the principal stopping-places, one or two old Indians would 
present themselves to Mr. Ogden, to demand their annual present for 
services rendered him and the Company. 

Many years back, Mr. Ogden, while on his route, w r as attacked at 
the place where the fort stands, by the Wallawalla tribe, and was 
obliged to take refuge on the island near the fort, where he made a 
stand and completely routed the Indians. This occurrence took place 
twenty-three years before, and was the cause of this post being occu- 
pied ; since which time, no attack has been made. 

This will give some idea of the dangers the officers and men of the 
Hudson Bay Company have to encounter ; and although it is now safe 
on the Columbia river, yet there are many parts where they are still 
subject to these attacks: the voyageurs have a lot of toil and depriva- 
tion, yet few men are to be found so cheerful. 

Mr. Ogden informed me, that the most experienced voyageur is 
taken as a pilot for the brigade, and he is the bowman of the leading 
boat ; which is looked upon as a station of great trust and honour. 
Each boat has also its bowman, who is considered the first officer and 
responsible man ; the safety of the boat, in descending rapids particu- 
larly, depends upon him and the padroon, who steers the boat. They 
both use long and large blade-paddles ; and it is surprising how much 


power the two can exert over the direction of the boat. These men, 
from long training, become very expert, and acquire a coolness and 
disregard of danger that claim admiration, and astonishes those who 
are unused to such scenes. 

To all appearance, there is seldom to be found a more laborious set 
of men; nor one so willing, particularly when their remuneration of 
no more than seventeen pounds sterling a year, and the fare they 
receive, are considered. The latter would be considered with us 
incapable of supporting any human being. It consists of coarse un- 
bolted bread, dried salmon, fat (tallow), and dried peas. I am satis- 
fied that no American would submit to such food : the Canadian and 
Troquois Indians use it without murmuring, except to strangers, to 
whom they complain much of their scanty pay and food. The dis- 
cipline is strict, and of an arbitrary kind ; yet they do not find fault 
with it. In Appendix XV., will be found one of the agreements of 
the Hudson Bay Company. Very few of those who embark or join 
this Company's service ever leave the part of the country they have 
been employed in ; for after the expiration of the first five years, they 
usually enlist for three more. This service of eight years in a life of 
so much adventure and hazard, attaches them to it, and they generally 
continue until they become old men ; when, being married, and 
having families by Indian women, they retire under the auspices of 
the Company, to some small farm, either on the Red or Columbia 
rivers. There is no allowance stipulated for their wives or children ; 
but one is usually made, if they have been useful. If a man dies, 
leaving a family, although the Company is not under any obligation to 
provide for them, they are generally taken care of. The officers of 
the Company are particularly strict in preventing its servants from 
deserting their wives; and none can abandon them without much 
secresy and cunning. In cases of this sort, the individual is arrested 
and kept under restraint until he binds himself with security not to 
desert his family. The chief officers of the Company hold the power 
of magistrates over their own people ; and are bound to send fugitives 
or criminals back to Canada for trial, where the courts take cogni- 
zance of the offences. This perhaps is as salutary and effectual a 
preventive against crime, as could be found, even if the courts were 
at hand; for whether innocent or guilty, the individual must sufler 
great loss by being dragged from the little property he possesses. 
The community of old voyageurs, settled in Oregon, are thus con- 
strained to keep a strict watch upon their behaviour; and, although 
perhaps against their inclinations, are obliged to conform to the wishes 
of those whose employ they have left. 


The brigade, after remaining at Wallawalla till the 8th, took their 
departure. In taking leave of Mr. Ogden, I must express the great 
indebtedness I am under, for his attentions and kindness to Mr. 
Drayton, as well as for the facility he offered him for obtaining infor- 
mation during their progress up the Columbia. Tarn also under obli- 
gations to him for much interesting information respecting this country, 
which he gave without hesitation or reserve. He was anxious that Mr. 
Drayton should accompany him to Okonagan ; but as this route had 
just been traversed by another party, it would have been a waste of 
the short time he had to spend about Wallawalla. Mr. Ogden is a 
general favourite ; and there is so much hilarity, and such a fund of 
amusement about him, that one is extremely fortunate to fall into his 

After the departure of the brigade, Mr. Drayton set out to visit Dr. 
Whitman, in company with Mr. M'Lean, who was to proceed to 
Okonagan with horses, to join Mr. Ogden. They rode about twenty 
miles before dark, and passed